A new browser add-on called Flagger, available for Chrome and Firefox, automatically puts “red flag” keywords into the web addresses you visit. The point, apparently, is to make the US National Security Agency (NSA)’s job harder by giving them more noise to sort through.
If you’re all for freedom on the Interwebs and think government surveillance has gone too far, then you might think this is a brilliant idea.
But we’re really not so sure about that.
Whether or not you agree with everything the NSA are doing, you can’t deny that some of it is for the best. Or maybe you can, we’ll undoubtedly hear all about it in the comments!
Spamming up their filters with words like “Taliban”, “anthrax” and “Al Qaeda” will only make it harder for them to flag up real terrorist information online.
However much you disapprove with the NSA surveying online activity and phone records, making it harder for them to prevent terror attacks probably isn’t the best way to get back at them.
We don’t know what effects this will have on the websites that are flagged yet, either — and do you really want to risk upsetting the ranking of your favorite websites? Or your own website?
If you do decide to use Flagger, you can even think up your own “red flag” keywords — and add a personal message for the NSA guys to read. Which, uhm, they undoubtedly won’t. So we wouldn’t put too much effort into that, if we were you.
You’re unlikely to get in trouble for using the add-on — the NSA won’t be able to trace the keywords back to you — but you won’t really achieve anything, either. They’ll find away around this somehow, and if they don’t…well, you still won’t really have achieved anything.
Besides, don’t you have anything better to do?