Category Archives: Technology

The Danger of Siri in an America Tapped by the NSA

Today, Siri misunderstood me and searched for something that definitely shows up on the NSA’s radar. I asked it to search for a few different phrases without being understood before I ended up with “I-80 Construction in Utah”, trying to use the most simple phrase that could give me a phone number to get useful information from. Signs on the highway were extremely confusing and the Utah Commuterlink Website had been absolutely no help that morning. What did Siri search for? Nothing other than “IED Construction in Utah”. Fuck me. Excuse my language, but that’s what immediately came to mind after Siri had just performed a google search for “improvised explosive device construction in Utah” under my name. Talk about technology dependence becoming a problem…

I immediately imagined a string of events that ended up with me in some secret location being questioned as a threat to the country and trying to explain that Siri had done it. It was the one-armed man officer, I swear it… Fuck me… I’m in the middle of a Yoga teacher training weekend and have been driving back and forth between Park City and Salt lake City for the past few days. All I wanted was some useful information about the road I would have to use, and I likely just got myself added to some list that no one wants to be on. Hopefully their analytics are advanced enough to know that I then pulled over at a gas station and modified the search to it’s proper keywords so that I could call the UDOT Renovate I-80 Hotline I had been looking for in the first place.

Hopefully… Or maybe Siri just got me red flagged at the NSA. Who knows what that could do to me. I sure don’t. But, I can imagine. I wish I could have taken a screenshot of Siri generating the search, but I was driving. Hell, I wish I wouldn’t have been trying to use my phone at all. In a world where internet search terms are being sorted and analyzed for threats, you shouldn’t rely on a mostly helpful voice recognition software to do your searching for you. It may be a fluke, but it’s not one I’m going to risk repeating. Siri, we’re not speaking anymore.