One of the big stories today is that news about intelligence agencies’ efforts to spy on people’s telephone records and Internet communications.
I am, frankly, so paranoid about (and, to be fair, fascinated) the idea of spies that I tend to attribute any slowness in my computers or telephone to the NSA, Chinese hacker warriors, or other international intelligence organizations.
A few weeks ago, hackers in, supposedly, “Bulgaria,” got into one of my e-mail accounts and had it many people (everyone?) with an e-mail in the inbox a message promoting Viagra. I’m fearing/hoping that was the NSA wanting to know more about my views on the state of the U.S. medical, long-term care and disability insurance sectors.
Of course, what they’d really learn is that I’ve promised to send tortellini to the end-of-school picnic in a couple weeks, and that I have used my work e-mail account to send my child at least four or five pictures of cute baby animals, but maybe the spies the pictures of cute baby koala bears carry fascinating coded messages about how dark pools of derivatives are going to cause Ben Bernanke to spike up interest rates to topple the SIFIs, to cause Maurice Greenberg to ask Warren Buffett to prod Bill Gates to team up with Google to acquire Turkey through a private-equity transaction.
But it hit me that the story here for the disability insurance community is how great it would be for disability insurance underwriting if the underwriters had NSA-type access to all of prospects’, applicants and insureds phone and Internet communications.
My assumption is that pretty much all of the cool, free Internet services, from the YouTube video posting service, to the various Web-based map systems, to Siri and other device-based and Web-based voice-recognition systems, are examples of DARPA finding fun civilian uses for primitive versions of NSA surveillance systems.