Thursday, June 13, 2013

Not Exactly

David Horsey has been traveling abroad, most recently in England.  I fear he may have contracted a slight case of cranial-rectal inversion as a result.  In his latest column, he seems to imply that the NSA's intrusion in our privacy is no different than the intrusions of the private sector by quoting with approval from a recent op-ed.

In a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed column, Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, suggested that everyone should relax. Far from being a renegade spy operation, the phone-monitoring program comes with plenty of judicial, congressional and presidential oversight, he claimed.

“Granted there is something inherently creepy about Uncle Sam scooping up so much information about us,” Boot wrote. “But Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Citibank and other companies know at least as much about us, because they use very similar data-mining programs to track our online movements. They gather that information in order to sell us products, and no one seems to be overly alarmed. The NSA is gathering that information to keep us safe from terrorist attackers. Yet somehow its actions have become a ‘scandal,’ to use a term now loosely being tossed around.”

Thanks to the technological revolution, today’s Americans live in a very different world than did previous generations. Privacy is a quaint novelty of the past, and whenever we tap into a telephone or a computer it has become the equivalent of leaving our homes and entering the town square.

If that is something we do not like, the concern goes far beyond the worry that the government may be watching. Everyone may be watching.   [Emphasis added].
No, David, you miss the point, as did Max Boot.  There is a qualitative difference.  I don't have to bank with Citibank or shop at Amazon.  I can choose not to sign up at Facebook and Twitter.  I can even stay away from Google.  If, however, I am going to be on-line, I can be tracked by my own government.

Even if I give up the internet, my telephone records are subject to confiscation by my own government, and I need a telephone. 

My own government is spying on me because it can, not because it is keeping the US safe from terrorist attackers.  And it is assembling records on us all.

That is unacceptable.

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Anonymous ThinlyVeiled said...

Not to mention the fact that Google and CitiBank can't come to your door and throw you in jail. Or worse.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google and CitiBank can't come to your door and throw you in jail



10:29 PM  

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