…and that’s news? Worthy of sudden outrage?
Let’s face it- massive intercept of communications has been going on since at least “the cold war”. Yes, maybe it died down a bit…or simply seemed to, in the lull between “the cold war” and “the war on terror”.
And clearly Bush helped ramp things up to new levels, which have been continued by Bush. But what has really changed is the method and volume of communications in our world. And hence- the methods of intercepting them.
This new outrage reminds me of a friend from the “gray hat” hacker world. They had gotten one of those t-shirts that says “I Read Your E-Mails” . To which he added to the back “And God You’re Boring”.
In other words- the government is not interested/doesn’t have the resources to do anything with the bulk of the information. Have you seen such things come into play in the Boston Bombings? The School shootings? Various hate crimes? Drug cases? No- because for better or worse virtually all resources have been moved to the “war on terror”.
Not to imply these new “revelations” are trivial- the potential for abuse is real. But this has been going on for decades. And is very much reminiscent of the “First they came…” quote from Martin Niemoller….
Really- the bigger concern for people should be the very companies the NSA and FBI are getting the data from. The very companies whose business models are often not providing you with a service- but providing you a service to collect your data. Data that is sold on the open market with few if any restrictions. Companies that legally track you around the web. And using the location data from your smartphone or laptop- around the world.
Google, Yahoo, Facebook etc- they know far, far more about you then the government does.
Let’s see- just this site alone. How much info did you give WordPress? Your real name? Your real birthdate? An email address that you actually use for other things? Besides WP, Google Analytics is tracking your activity here. As is Quanticast, As is Kiss Metrics. As is Gravity. As is Optimizely. and…well- you get the picture.
Sorry- but I really don’t get the sudden outrage. Except to note that is coming from two fronts- the left and libertarians who have been tilting at windmills over this issue for decades. And the right- who embraced such actions for decades- until a black, kenyan, msulim, communist/socialist/facist became president. How many times have I heard the same people feigning outrage say “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about”?!