Privacy in a Wired World

Privacy in a Wired World

I have been inundated with reports about the NSA wiretapping scandal. The best comment I heard so far came from NPR this morning. A woman (don’t know her name) pointed out that Obama said that this is a good thing because now we can have a national conversation about the issue of surveilance. Her point was, why didn’t he want this conversation before they started these programs?

Do the “bad guys” not know that their phones and emails can be surveiled? Was this really a secret program that is now in jeopardy because of this whistleblower? I don’t think so. I’m not a terrorist, but if I was, I think I’d be pretty smart about how I communicated with people, and I would know that somewhere, somehow, someone was probably listening. I watched Zero Dark Thirty, I know how these things work.

So this brings me to Edward Snowden. He is the one who leaked this information to the American people. When this first happened, I didn’t associate the leak with a single person, but now that the name is out and he has been exposed, I see him as a heroic figure. Does that make me anti-American? Does that make me a bad person? I hope not. I hope it doesn’t make me a target either.

I see this type of subversion as healthy. Here was a man working in an industry he knew well. But he saw something happening that was above and beyond what he felt was ethical, so he told. The scariest part of this for me is how our government is going after whistleblowers. Shouldn’t we encourage this kind of open communication? What has our country become when they make secret laws and have secret courts to enforce these laws? Are we really that afraid of the terrorists that we are completely willing to give up our freedoms and the fabric of our democracy?

So this brings me to blogging. I wrote this blog with a real purpose in mind. I wanted to write something that was on my mind and post it for an audience. So now the question is, what are the consequences of sharing what I think and feel with the world?

Who reads these blogs? Who can find what I have written?

2 Replies to “Privacy in a Wired World”

  1. I agree that this subversion is healthy and heroic. After all, we are a nation built upon subversion. We should know what the government is doing. There is a difference between keeping specific information classified for a purpose and withholding governmental practices on the basis of “national security.” Information has always been a commodity, but we are now in the age where the mediums and access to this information is immense and fluid.

  2. You have a variety of questions here. They all seem to question the true effect of an individual’s actions amidst a community. You’ve sited two people in parallel situations. One who waited to speak his mind until the community caught up and the other who spoke to alert the community. As individuals, we claims the role of each person at some point. Each have benefits and drawbacks. What should be questioned is when is necessary to step into each role.

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