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Zoomers Have Made Peace With Constant Surveillance, And It’s Scary

screenshots from TikTok videos about FBI agents
Image CreditEvita Duffy / The Federalist

Gen Z has thoroughly made peace with being watched 24/7 via their devices.


An ongoing TikTok trend shows users joking about their personal FBI agents watching them through their phones and computer screens. Most of the videos portray the TikTokers’ agents viewing them do harmless (albeit embarrassing) things. 


This is what you get for spying on me 😂 CLICK “+” if you relate #fyp #foryou #comedy #pov

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

It’s stuck in my head, help 😭

♬ original sound – Mattness🖤

my poor fbi agent i’m so sorry 😥

♬ original sound – Austin Cho

What’s troubling about all these videos is that users seem to have thoroughly made peace with the fact they are being watched 24/7 via their devices. Perhaps their contentment is a coping mechanism. However, most users seem to view the surveillance as either negligible or an aid to our collective common good. 

One user says that his FBI agent is “sav[ing] the world.” Another expresses a sort of odd friendship and even closeness with his FBI agent because the agent knows so much about him. 

This user, who is in support of the FBI raid into Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, made a video about texting all her contacts “wow the FBI did a great job raiding Mar-A-Lago, h-ll ya! Love those guys,” so that she could send her FBI agent “positive upward feedback,” the assumption being that her agent is reading through her messages and will surely see her text in support of the raid. 


my fbi agent was there i just know it ❤️

♬ original sound – birdie ! 💌

Even the TikTokers who don’t necessarily convey support of the surveillance do not seem to be concerned because their videos show themselves doing cringe-worthy but ultimately benign things. In the captions, they often express how sorry they feel for their FBI agents, who are being forced to watch them for hours on end doing nothing worth the agent’s time and attention. So while they may be embarrassed, they aren’t worried about getting hauled in for questioning.

All these TikToks are manifestations of the prevailing sentiment among young people that forgoing their liberties in exchange for safety and security is either inconsequential or good. The issue is, increased government surveillance has proven to be neither inconsequential nor good. 

For all the surveillance they do, does the FBI effectively prevent school shootings or bombings? No. They do, however, get involved in things like the “kidnapping” plot of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which many suspect was an entrapment scheme orchestrated by the FBI. And they also launch investigations into “terrorist” parents who express concerns at local school board meetings

The FBI’s 2022 budget has its largest funding increase request under the category of combatting “domestic terrorism,” a label which we’ve seen the left use to smear their ideological opponents at will, from concerned parents to people who challenge the regime’s narrative online. Our federal agencies have become spy machines committed to weaponizing their illegal intelligence against any political adversary of the left (so, half the country).

Apparently, they aren’t even focused on catching child predators anymore after a whistleblower came forward this week alleging that the FBI is moving its agents off of child sexual abuse cases to instead pursue its Jan. 6 witch hunt.  

Earlier this month, it was revealed that for years the FBI has been secretly pressuring Americans into signing forms that relinquish their constitutional right to own, purchase, or even use firearms. The agency also interfered in the 2020 election by reportedly directing Facebook (and likely other platforms) to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story. (Polls show that 1 in 6 Biden voters would have changed their minds if they’d known about the several throttled news stories that were unfavorable to Biden, including the story about his son’s laptop).

The FBI is the most well-known of our government law enforcement agencies, which is why the TikTok trend is all about FBI surveillance. However, the FBI is not the only federal agency that’s spying on Americans.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also monitor and collect the data of U.S. citizens. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has collected millions of records on legal firearm owners despite a national gun database being strictly forbidden by Congress. Even the U.S. Postal Service was caught monitoring people’s social media accounts and forwarding posts to the Department of Homeland Security through its iCOP program.

We know Big Brother doesn’t have the people’s best interests at heart. That’s why our founders came up with this whole idea of limited government in the first place. It’s disturbing to know that America’s young people are willing to just accept — even happily — that the government is watching their every post, like, purchase, and search. 

Unfortunately, Gen Z has known nothing other than our technology-saturated, post-Patriot Act society. Contributing to Zoomer’s contentment is that they likely believe they are politically on the “right side” and have nothing to hide. Perhaps America’s younger generations will change their minds if ever they do become the object of the deep state’s wrath. 

Sadly, it looks like they are going to have to learn this one the hard way. As Ben Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

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