It has been awhile since a leak pertaining to suspicionless surveillance has been at the forefront of the mainstream media, but cognizance of the United States' domestic spying activities remain as important, if not more, under Donald Trump. Juxtaposed with the extreme jingoism (and borderline chauvinism) that we have recently witnessed in the United States is an incredible resistance to these very same ideas, demonstrated in the countless marches that have taken place since Donald Trump's election.
Unfortunately, privacy issues are largely missing from the narrative on Trump's first days in office. And Donald Trump has demonstrated, though his cabinet appointments and statements, that he is far from a privacy advocate. And as the inheritor of a vast surveillance apparatus that allows for the stifling of political dissent and greater control over his populous, his stance is unlikely to change as his presidency matures.
Fortunately, privacy is an issue like no other. With enough effort, one can escape the grasp of dragnet surveillance. Like all effective political and societal revolutions, the movement originates at the people and works its way up. But unlike, say, drug legalization, changes in legislation are not required in order to mobilize the privacy revolution. Instead, all that is required is the widespread adoption of pro-privacy technologies. Doing so would render Trump's surveillance apparatus useless, hindering its growth—and perhaps triggering its decline.
That is what sets apart the privacy movement from all others: it can progress significantly without legislative changes, and while the ultimate goal is to disassemble the surveillance apparatus altogether, by utilizing encryption to hide oneself from the NSA's ever-widening domestic spying abilities one can not only liberate themselves but also decrease the effectiveness of the surveillance system itself.
This revolution is, admittedly, far fetched. With increasing apathy towards privacy in the American population, widespread adoption of technologies such as PGP encryption (which come at the cost of convenience) is unlikely. But that does not nullify the efforts of those who have opted to be more private: by freeing oneself of the American surveillance apparatus, one not only improves their own privacy but also sends the message that suspicionless surveillance, whether conducted domestically or internationally, will not be tolerated.
So let this serve as a call to action: if not you, then who? Who will be the one to deflect the institutionalized attempts at privacy? All great movements start as grassroots campaigns, and privacy's is no different. There is no safety in numbers—the fact that everyone is subject to the NSA's spying should spark disgust, not comfort. Your data is not diluted by the data of others, it is merely complimented. For this reason, it is important to adopt pro-privacy technologies not only for ones own protection, but also for the protection of everyone who communicates with you.
While it is unlikely that we will see a march on Washington for privacy any time soon, what we do see is unimportant. Much more pressing is what the NSA shouldn't see.