Friday, March 16, 2012

Total Information Awareness is alive

This is the scariest thing I've read in a long time. You'll recall the Total Information Awareness days of the Bush era, when our government dreamt of watching all of us, all of the time. Public outcry then led to the program being renounced, but apparently it never died. It just went underground. Hence today, we learn the NSA is building a "data center" in Utah.
But new pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who say little and keep to themselves. Like the pious polygamists, they are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than a mile from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted construction workers in sweat-soaked T-shirts are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a massive complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol.
This is why I don't freak out about privacy on the social nets. It doesn't matter what Facebook or Google or anybody collects. Everything is already being archived, including your real life transactions. They have been doing this for a very long time. Someday, it will be just like those TV programs where they punch your name into a computer terminal and instantly access your entire life history. Don't really see how we can stop it, or avoid it, short of going off the grid entirely. [graphic via]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]


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