Re: Intelligence Overlords
@ VinceH; "the upshot of all the blanket monitoring etc is that while it wouldn't be difficult for the Snoops to join the dots on me if they had reason to, there are in effect more dots for them to join"
Don't kid yourself.
The whole point of data mining is exactly that- to spot trends and similarities and thus to "join those dots" in a manner that would require prohibitive amounts of work for humans, but can be done quickly and automatically by modern computers.
I'm pretty sure that most human techniques for doing this (e.g. spotting similar writing and punctuation style, use of particular phrases, discussion of common subjects) can- and thus *will* be- automated. Along with other techniques, such as use of limited AI to determine post content and subject matter, and refine that into trends that can be spotted over multiple sources.
None of these indicators will be giveaways- nor even especially useful- individually, but when enough of them are used together, they massively increase in power and reliability. And it's that second part- combining separate analyses and items of data in a manner that's impractical for humans, but trivial for computers- that really makes data mining so powerful and dangerous.
And it only takes one small- but definitive- item of information (e.g. same fake-name email address used to register both accounts) to connect (or "join the dots") between two "islands" of information, showing that both likely refer to the same person. This can be done multiple times, and gives them- or rather, their automated data-mining system- even more to work on.
Your name- or any other personally-identifiable information- only needs to be reliably associated with one of those "islands" of information for them to know that *all* that information is about you.
And if you're running an intelligence agency with an eye-wateringly large budget from the government, there's no way you're *not* going to be using- and developing- technology like this.