A Georgia dad is charging with killing his toddler son by leaving him in a hot car. Prosecutors used internet searches and history, plus his text messages to argue the death was intentional. The father went on websites advocating child-free lives, searched for ‘how to survive in prison,’ and appeared deeply interested in the specifics of death in cars on hot days. He also was sending text photos of his naughty bits to women other than his wife, one of whom is underage.
Given he and his wife had insurance policies on the toddler and he showed no remorse, I’m guessing the death wasn’t accidental. However, my real point here is that nothing you do on the internet is private unless you take specific actions to make it so. If you don’t want people to track your internet history, use the Tor Browser. If you need to send private email messages, encrypt them using PGP. And don’t text photos of yourself nude, and it will probably end badly.
Law enforcement was justified in subpoenaing Google, his cell phone company, and his ISP for information. And they have troves of data on all of us.
Even if your traffic is encrypted or concealed, NSA will stil flag you as a potential target just for using TOR – or only investigating secure ‘Net methods.