I, for one, welcome my readers from the U.S. intelligence community. Now that I know you’re here, I surely will post more often!
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I’d like to be more incensed about the revelations over the past few weeks about the extent of NSA data mining. But I find myself more nonplussed and amused. It may be because I’ve lived under two assumptions that I’ve always believed would comfortably cancel each other out:
1. There is no such thing as online privacy. We’ve been living for years under the assumption that the government could listen to phone calls, invade our email accounts, and track our online movements. Not only that, but if they have only slightly better imaging than Goolge Maps, they may well be able to watch me mow my lawn (or, more likely, send me periodic reminders that the grass in the backyard is getting a little shaggy).
2. Most of the time, nobody cares. There are so many people connecting each day that very few of us are actually being watched or overheard or seen mowing or not mowing our lawns. It is, unfortunately, highly unlikely that the few dozen readers I have each day include members of any foreign or domestic intelligence communities (though, hey, they may just be excellent at covering their tracks!). Most of the time, as individuals, no one is watching
You probably already see the problem here. No one is watching. Until they are.
Americans don’t want less or more government. We want perfect government. Perfectly efficient in war. Perfectly effective in pushing the levers of our economy. Perfectly where they need to be when they need to be in times of emergency. Practically precognitive against terrorists. Perfectly invisible when we don’t want them around.
Perfection requires perfect more and more information from more and more sources…and the ability to analyze and synthesize it into something meaningful.
Right or wrong…this is what we wanted.