Security Shouldn’t Trump Privacy – But I’m Afraid It Will

[Note:  This item comes from reader Monty Solomon.  DLH]

From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Security Shouldn’t Trump Privacy – But I’m Afraid It Will
Date: November 4, 2013 at 8:09:43 AM PST

Security Shouldn’t Trump Privacy – But I’m Afraid It Will

Oct 28, 2013
By Jean-Louis Gassée
Monday Note

The NSA and security agencies from other countries are shooting for
total surveillance, for complete protection against terrorism and
other crimes. This creates the potential for too much knowledge
falling one day in the wrong hands.

An NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, takes it upon himself to gather a
mountain of secret internal documents that describe our surveillance
methods and targets, and shares them with journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Since May of this year, Greenwald has provided us with a trickle of
Snowden’s revelationsŠ and our elected officials, both here and
abroad, treat us to their indignation.

What have we learned? We Spy On Everyone.

We spy on enemies known or suspected. We spy on friends, love
interests, heads of state, and ourselves. We spy in a dizzying number
of ways, both ingenious and disingenuous.

(Before I continue, a word on the word “we”. I don’t believe it’s
honest or emotionally healthy to say “The government spies”. Perhaps
we should have been paying more attention, or maybe we should have
prodded our solons to do the jobs we elected them forŠ but let’s not
distance ourselves from our national culpability.)

You can read Greenwald’s truly epoch-making series On Security and
Liberty in The Guardian and pick your own approbations or invectives.
You may experience an uneasy sense of wonder when contemplating the
depth and breadth of our methods, from cryptographic and social
engineering exploits (doubly the right word), to scooping up metada
and address books and using them to construct a security-oriented
social graph.

We manipulate technology and take advantage of human foibles; we
twist the law and sometimes break it, aided by a secret court without
opposing counsel; we outsource our spying by asking our friends to
suck petabytes of data from submarine fiber cables, data that’s
immediately combed for keywords and then stored in case the we need
to “walk back the cat”.

The reason for this panopticon is simple: Terrorists, drugs, and
“dirty” money can slip through the tiniest crack in the wall. We
can’t let a single communication evade us. We need to know
everything. No job too small, no surveillance too broad.



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