The story is in the headlines, the details are in the links.
I don’t mind if companies are trying to do business, as long as they do so on MY terms — I get to decide, not they, if I want to be “followed” or “tracked” or “profiled” or whatever the hell they do to learn my habits, preferences or my identity. The private details of my life are NOT marketing data. It is theirs to use only I decide they can have the information.
And don’t get me wrong, I am not an ACLU or libertarian nut case. Also I am not a right wing militia nut case. But when it comes to the government spying on people for whatever reason,
I fervently believe that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are NOT a suicide pact that renders us defenseless against foreign or domestic terrorists. I believe foreigners DON’T have ANY civil rights under the US Constitution. I believe that whatever legal niceties we extend to foreigners is (1) only a matter of habit because that is the only way we know how to run our legal system, or (2) a matter of courtesy because we like to see ourselves as champions of individual rights, or (3) a matter of formal reciprocal diplomatic arrangements or treaties with their host countries. I most certainly believe that terrorist are never entitled to any such rights and courtesies. By words and deeds they declared war on us, and in war you don’t mirandize your enemy, you shoot him or take him prisoner. And if they are not in uniform, then according to centuries of tradition they get to be summarily shot, unless they have some intelligence value.
Equally fervently I believe that the rights of AMERICAN citizens are ABSOLUTE. We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights precisely to prevent the use of the kinds of tools described in the headlines above against AMERICAN citizens without a COURT ORDER.
The tragedy in this story line is that the current generation of both the adults and the young — the twitter / facebook / google / social network generation — sees NOTHING WRONG with the total surrender of their privacy, the total surrender of all of their freedoms. We are being brainwashed into acquiescence by popular TV shows such as NCIS and Person Of Interest, where public and private investigators are shown to delve into the most intimate details of peoples’ lives with the utmost of impunity and ease. It’s all for a good cause, and we cheer them on. The only detail missing is next logical step that confirms our descent into a total absolute police state, and that is the large scale or even the sporadic arrest and imprisonment of random American citizens on suspicion or allegation of actual or potential commissions of crimes for which the evidence is collected from fishing expeditions in the databases, without an active investigation, probable cause or search warrants from a real judge. Guess what — that very thing is now allowed under current law…
And the current generation of both the adults and the young see NOTHING WRONG with it…!!!