Friday, June 07, 2013

You Have No Privacy. Why Are You Surprised?

In January of 1999, Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems infamously said, "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." He was talking about Intel's decision not to include tracking information inside of their Pentium III chips. More than a decade ago, McNealy already knew.

A year later, in mid-2000, EarthLink was forced to incorporate the National Security Administration's Carnivore system, giving the government access to every piece of email going through EarthLink's network. That was before 9/11. Before the USA PATRIOT ACT. And even back then, the American government was quietly

Flash forward to January of 2006. Given exponentially more power, the case of  Hepting vs AT&T revealed that the NSA was no longer monitoring just email, but every bit of data going through AT&T's network, including texts and phone calls.

Which brings us to the present. 2013. And we learn that not only does AT&T continue to freely share everything with the NSA, but so does Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobilethe major credit card companies, and many (if not all) of the major Internet companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook.

And why, pray tell, do they do this? Quite simple: because there is a "war on terror." And we have to be vigilant in our pursuit of those beard, invisible, cave-born, religious ninjas who hate our freedom and way of life. Or so the story goes.

If you don't like it, then you either have something to hide, or you're on their side. Or so the story goes.

And if you want to keep your freedom, your way of life, and live The American Dream, you have to sacrifice your privacy in order to do so. Or so the story goes.

You have no privacy. You haven't for more than a decade. Why are you surprised?
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