2 .. 3... quick posts, side-by-side, showing the rabid onslaught against the 4th Amendment and the protections is is supposed to provide:
The Snowden story is not about whether Snowden is a spy, or U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will seek the death penalty, or whether Russian President Vladamir Putin will let him stay, or what dark novels his Russian lawyer has given him, or what clean clothes he has. It is, as the U.K. Guardian notes, what Snowden has revealed about today’s Internet.The internet was "supposed' to be a conduit for the transfer of information but as it became essentially awesome at that, governments developed disdain for citizens to have such 'unfettered" access because information is power.
Snowden’s revelations are the end of a vision of unfettered Internet freedom. Over the past decade, we’ve heard all kinds of pronouncements that the Internet is in its death throes. Technically speaking, the net is bigger, more alive and more people are interconnected than ever. But what has died amid the Internet’s evolution?
Major corporations felt that the little people should be paying for this useful data access. After all, this is AMERICA! No free lunch. Pay as you go. You will not have anything if you do not somehow needlessly enrich somebody who's already filthy rich.
In 2002, Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, wrote that big telecom companies were going to kill the net by charging for data use, like a utility charges for the water piped into one’s home. Gamers were particularly upset about that scenario. Today’s bigger and faster data pipes seem to have offset the fear of restricted access. But today’s Internet users pay just as Chester predicted.No free lunch and definately no free powerful flow of information.
Imagine the profit to be had if we could somehow charge for evolution.
I digress. The author does seem to make the title a little more 'death sexy" than needless but just to make an important point:
The Internet is not dead or dying. But it’s not our best friend forever. And as America’s spymasters and its global companies keep defending their digital dragnet, Snowden’s revelations remind us what the Internet has become.We want a free flow of high-quality information - that is an evolutionary need being throttled for the profit of a few and for the power of governments who wish to oppress their people when convenient.
Meanwhile, out in the parking lot....The first is that the days of the internet as a truly global network are numbered. It was always a possibility that the system would eventually be Balkanised, ie divided into a number of geographical or jurisdiction-determined subnets as societies such as China, Russia, Iran and other Islamic states decided that they needed to control how their citizens communicated. Now, Balkanisation is a certainty....The real threat from terrorism has never been the damage it does directly, even through attacks as horrific as those on 9/11. The more serious threat comes from the over-reaction, the collective insanity or the simple loss of perspective, that an attack evokes. Our government's ambition to do everything possible to keep us "safe" has put us at jeopardy in other ways.
Second, the issue of internet governance is about to become very contentious. Given what we now know about how the US and its satraps have been abusing their privileged position in the global infrastructure, the idea that the western powers can be allowed to continue to control it has become untenable.... Nothing, but nothing, that is stored in their [ie, US-based companies] "cloud" services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA.
One more note: it is also worth emphasizing that this damage was not done by Edward Snowden, except in an incidental and instrumental sense. The damage comes from the policies themselves, just as the lasting damage from Abu Ghraib came not from the leaked photos but from the abuse they portrayed.
A New York woman who valeted her car at Greater Rochester International Airport recently returned to find a notice on her car informing her that it had been searched without her consent. Furious, she got in touch with a local TV station, and the story went viral. TSA quickly put out a statement saying that its agents don't search cars—but searches can be included in a TSA-approved security plan. Mother Jones has found that not only does TSA approve searches of the trunks and interior of unattended cars in an undefined perimeter that's considered dangerously close to the airport—like a car left with valet parking—but if a valet attendant finds illegal drugs instead of bombs, they will call the police. Privacy experts say these searches could be a violation of a person's Fourth Amendment rights.It's not this way at every airport, the TSA spokesdroids tell us and there's probably a lot of truth in that. It's beside the point:
"We search every car, we open the trunk and take a look around," says Saour Merwan, a keymaster at the valet service at San Diego International Airport. "We were told by airport authority to do that, since about two years ago. [We] keep an eye out for something suspicious, like wires and cables. The airport has security regulations and we have to follow them." Merwan says the service doesn't inform anyone that they're checking out the inside of the vehicles, and when asked what he'd do if he found illegal drugs, he says, "Of course we'd call the police."
"This is exactly what the Fourth Amendment was designed to say the government can't do, generally search everything without suspicion," says Fred H. Cate, a professor at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. "At the same time, the Supreme Court has made an exception to searching items that you've voluntarily given to someone else—like a car. It's a crazy argument, but that's not bothered the courts before."Can't surf the web, can't make a call, can't even trust some lowly valet with your car keys.
I for one NEVER let anybody drive my car nor do I ever let them have the keys to it
The point is Americans are being trained to give up their rights everywhere they go, either because the government is scaremongering about terrorism or because some wealthy company wants access to your shit.