I’ve been thinking about PRISM since the news broke, but I’ve stayed away from commenting so far. I was just amazed at how people reacted to the news. Some people said that if we were doing nothing wrong, then we had nothing to worry about. Others suggested that it was worth trading in our privacy for security. Others were saying that it would all be fine if we only spied on people outside our country.
I won’t bother with telling you what the government should be doing. They stopped listening to all of us a long time ago. Maybe the government ever listening to us was just an illusion. I wasn’t around in the late 1700’s, so I can’t really say. What I would rather focus on is what this tells us about the government and the impacts this could have on our businesses in the United States.
I know that the government tells us that they need to be doing all of this spying in secret in order to “protect” us from terrorism. If they don’t do that, “the terrorists will win.” I call BS on both of these statements. First off, I don’t believe that most terrorists are communicating via text message and gmail. What do I know though? Maybe they do. You know one way they could communicate that wouldn’t be so easy to tamper with? The mail. Does the Post Office open and scan all our mail? No. Does that mean that we are all fundamentally unsafe? Not anymore so than we’ve always been. So, why is this new form of spying so necessary? Because Big Data is cool. All jokes aside, it’s just because they can. They can violate our rights and get away with it, so that’s what they’re doing. The fact that they are so cavalier with our rights means that the rights of citizens outside our country receives even less protection. That’s the most important detail that could affect American businesses. (more…)