Security at a Price
(Tip o' the tinfoil hat to reader CC.)
(This is what crimps Al Franken's bunny ears and has his diaper all bunched up of late: The government and giant corporations spying on us after vacuuming up much of our income in the form of taxes and increasingly high fees and charges. This is more or less an exact copy of an email I'd sent to a faithful reader after he'd sent me this Daily Kos link and after you read it and of Senator Franken's Senate investigation, you'll never look at "smart TVs" the same way ever again.)This neither surprises nor shocks me. It's all too disturbingly easy to believe that these tech companies, as with the internet behemoths, gladly feed biometric and voice data to the NSA and whoever pays the highest price for it. And they DO get paid by the government. We pay them increasingly high rates for our cable, house and cell phones and internet and they rake in untold millions more by spying on us and selling the metadata and so forth to Uncle Sam. That's why, when I write a check to Verizon for my house phone, I've taken to writing "NSA spying" on the memo line on the check just to let them know I know about their scummy activities.
I can see spying on terrorist and possible terrorist actors in the name of national security. I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever. What I have a problem with is our government that vacuums up wholesale our private data without any disclosure, the corporations with which we do business doing it for a price, creating shifting rationales and packs of lies big enough to choke a T Rex to justify doing so and being disturbingly comfortable with turning our nation into a subtler version of Orwell's totalitarian police state. Then we go after the whistle blowers like Daniel Ellsberg, Assange, Wikileaks, Sibel Edmonds, Susan Lindauer, Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowden as if THEY committed crimes more egregious than our government has already committed and is still committing.
And what's most disturbing of all is how many companies, media sources and private citizens are perfectly OK with this because we've been conned into believing that security is paramount above all else even at the expense of our 1st and 4th amendment rights that have long since been turned into conditional fucking privileges that, as far as I can see, will never even be earned or given back.
And I think back on what Ben Franklin said about this: "Those who are willing to forgo liberty for security deserve neither."