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This article was published on June 10, 2016

Thanks to Reddit, I put myself on every government watchlist known to man — for science

Thanks to Reddit, I put myself on every government watchlist known to man — for science
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Scanning Reddit, I came across a link from r/InternetIsBeautiful that promised to ruin my Google search history in a single click.

I’ve written a fair bit about government surveillance and I know that there’s a better than zero chances all of our searches are being monitored. After a fair bit of internal struggle — I am a tech writer, after all — I decided that it’d be stupid to click the link and wind up on a government watch list (or several of them).

Then I saw this:

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 4.23.28 PM

Yeah, no thanks. You’d have to be a moron to click that.

So anyway, after I clicked it…

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 4.01.36 PM

It looks innocent enough, right?

How bad could it be? I live in Mexico, mostly free from the over-reaching US government and I was assured by Reddit that it didn’t contain child porn, that’s all I really needed.

And then this happened:

To the NSA agent that no doubt had a stroke after seeing this, I apologize.