Forgive me dear readers – but I’m at TED in Edinburgh, so this is going to be more a “quick note” than I’d like it to be…
But — I fear we’re looking at the wrong question on this whole NSA whistle-blowing thing. I’d like to propose a few I think we should be asking.
Why are we so concerned with the government mining the data that we are already giving Google Facebook, etc.? Are we not as concerned with Google and Facebook mining our data? Why not? Is commerce and behavioral “nudging” not as concerning as security?
And why aren’t we addressing the fact that the whistleblower worked for a contractor to the government? In other words, why aren’t we discussing how NON-GOVERNMENTAL employees are performing this mining. I could also ask why we’re comfortable letting non-governmental people fight our wars, man our security, and run our prisons — but I’ll leave that for a future rant.
In fact, in general, why aren’t we asking whether the free market should be performing the tasks that (in my opinion) we SHOULD be asking the government to provide?
And finally…why is it we don’t seem to realize we’re asking for the impossible. Blaming the government when something slips through the security cracks, but complaining when they actually try to do something about it?
Let me clear. This is not an easy topic. I’m uncomfortable that my records are being accessed, and that the world we live in has so many gray areas.
I’m just more uncomfortable that we’re not having the richer, deeper debate about the larger context this plays into.