Five simple questions to ask about the outcry over the NSA’s PRISM program

  1. Are you more, or less, outraged over data-mining of this kind when it is done by internet marketers, search engine web-crawlers, or people who use search engines?
  2. The government is restricted from using its own mined data by the threshold inquiry of the Fourth Amendment. Do you think that this is more, or less, restrictive than the burdens internet marketers, search engines, and other private entities place on themselves when they access or distribute your data?
  3. If you didn’t want data of this kind being mined, why did you give your phone company and your cable provider the right to do so in the EULA you signed?
  4. What sort of outcry do you think is appropriate for the fact that the government’s Postal Service has location, date, and timestamps for every piece of physical mail sent in the United States, and that the government can read your mail when they think they can beat the 4th Amendment threshold for suspicious messages or messages between terrorists?
  5. What reasonable expectation of privacy does your twitter feed have?

The PRISM program tracks who you call and when – it doesn’t record your phone calls. Your phone company tracks who you call and when – it doesn’t record your phone calls. PRISM knows what’s on your Facebook page. So does Facebook, and thousands of its internet marketing affiliates. PRISM knows what you tweet. So does Twitter and everyone else who wants to.

Answers welcome in comments. Good to be back.


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