Another Nail In The Privacy Coffin
CNET is reporting that the Obama Administration has brought a Silicon Valley tech lawyer on board. Nicole Wong, Twitter’s legal director, has been tapped to be the White House’s first chief privacy officer. Just yesterday, RT.com reported that Obama is likely to endorse an FBI effort to force all Internet companies in the US provide a way for the government to conduct “undetected, backdoor surveillance”. It just makes sense that Obama would bring someone like Wong aboard. She’s been immersed in one of the hottest commodities since sliced bread. Her work with Twitter, Google as well as more traditional media gives her sharp chops to work with. The groundwork for legal challenges is being laid and Wong will no doubt serve as a sharp pleader in the administrations corner.
I don’t think it takes a PhD in technology to put two and two together on this one. Obama is prepping to take electronic surveillance of the American people to an entirely new level. We’ve long known that the government can watch anyone and everyone. As far back as the early 80’s we had satellites that could take images of license plates. But the age of the internet has now led us to a whole other place: anonymity online is fading into the past, never to return.
What’s this whole surveillance move about? Terrorism? Yes. Software piracy? Yes. Hacking of vital infrastructure systems by foreign entities. Sure. Going after those who have a distrust of this administration and question it’s motives? Damn right. Admit it, if YOU were in Obama’s shoes, wouldn’t you want to be able to enter the virtual world of anyone you perceived as not being all-aboard? If the Obama administration has excelled at anything, it’s breeding an unprecedented level of distrust and suspicion in the hearts and minds of the American people.
A logical argument is that ‘if you aren’t doing anything illegal, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about’. The vast majority of us aren’t doing anything illegal. But millions of us are vocal, sharing our political, religious and social views freely on social networking sites, blogs, etc…,. In the wake of 9/11, the cries for more security were loud and clear. Was security lax? Yes, no doubt. Far too many people appear to have been asleep at the switch. Has the Department of Homeland Security done any good for the safety and security of the American people? Yes. But at what cost? With nearly daily stories about government agencies stockpiling ammunition and the all mighty, all powerful air of self-importance and outright impudence of DHS Director Janet Napolitano, it’s not difficult to see how millions of American’s could look upon the powers that be with suspicion and even disgust. The moves on the part of Obama to have some sort of ‘blanket monitoring’ capability of all of us only adds to the feelings of distrust, disgust and suspicion. While the FBI may be watching, DHS will most certainly take the lead in expanded surveillance of the American people. Stay tuned and stay alert.