Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The End of Privacy

I have to talk about the NSA thing, don't I? Everyone else sure is - as hysterically as possible, whether demanding greater congressional oversight or screaming treason.

Which is just two sides of the same bullshit coin. The NSA is a component of the DOD, meaning no actual oversight for it exists. All those Defense Subcommittees you hear about are just for kissing brass. And as for the leaker himself, Edward Snowden may technically be a traitor going by the various espionage laws but the more pressing matter is that he's a Ron Paul fan. And therefore a twat.

"I did it for liberty! And the gold standard!"

Though to his credit, he says he wants the story to be about what he leaked and not about him personally. Or maybe he just doesn't want to end up like Bradley Manning - who revealed how often the US military lights up civilians, allies, and its own personnel - and is now getting thrashed up and down in the press while his show trial commences. WikiLeaks has been a point of reference throughout this, but what did the National Security Agency do exactly?

It's job. Signals intelligence - meaning data mining communications and other broadcasts. Similar shenanigans went on in the Bush years. The only significant difference this time around is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court handed out a secret warrant. All of its warrants are secret - that's kinda the point of espionage. FISA exists as a legalistic cover for the sort of snooping the NSA exists for.

It's all entirely legal. And invasive. And people have a right to be upset... I guess. It's really hard for me to take the outrage seriously because all you ridiculous cretins let Google and Facebook do the exact same thing to you every day.

Big Brother is watching you! And so are his sponsors!

Every like, every keystroke is recorded and fed through an algorithm for targeted advertising. That's why you see ads for whatever non-porn thing you just searched for. Or whatever you mentioned in a private email. Because all these social networking services aren't really free, but funded through ad revenue.

And that should be a real, regular outrage. At the gut level, it's a thousand Prisms rifling through what you think is private. In the long-view, it's strangling the promise of a true digital economy as Google and Facebook provide shittier and shittier service to users for greater and greater profits - and they have no competition because no one will pay for something they can get for free.

Except it's not free. It costs you your privacy every day. And you're cool with it, as long as it ain't the Big Bad Gub'mint.

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