Attempts to protect your privacy are red flags to the NSA, Ars Technica reports:
Using online anonymity services such as Tor or sending encrypted e-mail and instant messages are grounds for US-based communications to be retained by the National Security Agency even when they’re collected inadvertently, according to a secret government document published Thursday, titled Minimization Procedures Used by the National Security Agency in Connection with Acquisitions of Foreign Intelligence.
While the documents make clear that data collection and interception must cease immediately once it’s determined a target is within the US, they still provide analysts with a fair amount of leeway. For instance, a person whose physical location is unknown—which more often than not is the case when someone uses anonymity software from the Tor Project—”will not be treated as a United States person, unless such person can be positively identified as such.”
And in the event that an intercepted communication is later deemed to be from a US person, the requirement to promptly destroy the material may be suspended in a variety of circumstances. Among the exceptions are “communications that are enciphered or reasonably believed to contain secret meaning.”
The document, dated July 28, 2009, bears the signature of US Attorney General Eric Holder.