While it might seem like fun and games that over 750,000 people are joking around about flash mobbing Area 51, it really isn’t any laughing matter at all since the US government is taking their promised participation very seriously and might end up exploiting Facebook users’ intent to join the event as “justification” to unleash the NSA’s targeted spy capabilities against them.
Social media has been taken by storm after a Facebook event urging people to flash mob Area 51 went viral, with over 750,000 users signaling their intent to participate and a flurry of memes being created about it as a result. While it might seem like fun and games, it really isn’t any laughing matter at all since the US government is taking the situation very seriously after an Air Force spokeswoman reaffirmed that the authorities will protect this military asset if anyone attempts to carry through on their joking commitment to trespass on this property in search of aliens. It should be assumed that practically every person who joined the Facebook event was probably doing so in jest, but nevertheless, the authorities’ response sends the message that any “true believers” out there who actually end up participating will be detained or worse.
From the government’s standpoint, what started off as nothing more than an online joke could ultimately have real-world consequences because the action that’s being encouraged is legally classified as trespassing and it’s possible that some attention-seekers might try to provoke the military for publicity. Furthermore, given the Hybrid War hysteria nowadays about foreign actors supposedly trying to manipulate domestic processes for political ends, the intelligence services might suspect that state parties could try to exploit this viral event in order to cause a scandal if they succeed in advancing the aforementioned scenario of getting Americans to provoke the military at the facility. It’s therefore not inconceivable that the so-called “national security state” could unleash the NSA’s spy capabilities against the Facebook users who said they’d participate.
The American government is already spying on practically every person in the country anyhow as revealed by Snowden, but more targeted measures could be implemented against some or all of those who publicly expressed their interest in trespassing on Area 51, especially since there’s been a trend in recent years of singling out so-called “fringe” and “conspiracy-inclined” individuals as supposed security threats. It’s probably not a problem for anyone to post statuses or share funny memes about the event, but signaling their intent to commit what is legally designated as a crime against federal property could very easily put them under more of the NSA’s algorithmic scrutiny. It’s therefore best for people who are aware of this running joke to not join the Facebook event in order to protect what little privacy they still have left in their lives.
By Andrew Korybko
Source: Eurasia Future