Skip to main content

There is an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post entitled Five Myths About Privacy. It was written by Daniel Solove, a law professor at George Washington University. The myths that he list are as follows:

1. The collection of phone numbers and other “metadata” isn’t much of a threat to privacy.

2. Surveillance must be secret to protect us.

3. Only people with something to hide should be concerned about their privacy.

4. National security requires major sacrifices in privacy.

5. Americans aren’t especially bothered by government intrusions into their privacy.

He discusses each point and provides what I find to be convincing arguments as to why each of these positions doesn't hold up to close scrutiny. All of these points have played a major role in the spin coming out of the National Security establishment to justify the activities of the NSA and the cloak of secrecy surrounding them. It is all laced with the fear of terrorism and the serious imminent threat of harm.

In another piece of news today we get a suggestion that perhaps the national security agenda includes a lot more than just the threat of terrorism.

U.S. Agencies Said to Swap Data With Thousands of Firms  

Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.
We now have a glimpse of the information that the government is getting from telecommunication and internet providers. They of course are trying to claim that they were forced into cooperation by the star chamber proceedings of the FISA court. We don't at this point know much of anything about the type of information that private companies are receiving in return for their cooperation. It seems like a plausible speculation that it involves material germane to their economic interests.

Most of us are aware that technology and globalization have radically transformed almost every aspect of our lives and the institutions of our society. We are now getting a new look under the hood at some of the darker side of what this is about. We have a right and a duty to demand more information about it.  

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site