Friday, January 4, 2013

Privacy: 2007 – 2012

9 years, 10 months and 9 days since the day of arrest
Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn, New York

In October 2007 Wired magazine wrote in its Geekipedia section about privacy:

"Be careful what you text. "The United States may be among the most aggressive states in the world in terms of listening to online conversations", reads a report from the OpenNet Initiative, a group that monitors Internet surveillance. You can't even trust your so-called friends, who can post your e-chatter for all the world to see, not to mention embarrassing photos taken at last week's corporate retreat. Even commercial relationships aren't ruled by discretion. When you use Yahoo! Mail or Gmail, the company's automated programs are standing by to sift through your messages for marketing data.

Privacy isn't dead  it's a commodity. You can give it away, exposing the details of your personal life on Facebook. You can trade it in return for a word processor at Google Docs & Spreadsheets or for disk storage at Xdrive. Or you can pay to protect it, buying encryption software to prevent snoops from analyzing your browsing habits.

The trouble arises when a business or government agency leaks your personal details without permission. In most cases, the law keeps eavesdroppers in check: last year (2006), a whistle-blower revealed AT&T's agreement with the National Security Agency to turn over millions of private communications. Now the company faces a class-action suit that could cost it billions. Of course, most of us would have sold our privacy for far less."

It was 5 years ago. You can imagine what is happening now.


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