That should be the inscription printed on each and every dollar bill. As a nation concerned with our privacy, we willingly bare our innermost secrets to the world.
What if I told you that I knew every website you visited, every email you ever wrote and received, every IM you ever sent and every call you ever made. I know how much your utility bills are, how much your American Express bill was, and that you have a proclivity to collect garden gnomes? Your reaction would be nothing short of utter outrage.
Now what if I told you that there is already a system in place that collects this information and has been doing so for years, and better yet, is not run by any government. It exists, and it is called Google: the vast black box of the information super highway.
Google, the search powerhouse, which will never stop until it assimilates and digitizes every piece of information ever created – From the Constitution to a childâ€™s book report. They feel as though this is their destiny, and people keep feeding the beast. For what? A few gigabytes of email, and file storage? Is this worth the price of leaving yourself naked to the world?
Anyone remember the deal for Google to buy a stake in AOL? The key was AOL Instant Messenger, a multi-million user strong communication system. Mark my words: in less than 24 months Google will fully integrate with AOL, then will begin logging and capturing our conversations (meaningful or not).
Has anybody reviewed Googleâ€™s data disposal procedures? Exactly how long are search logs kept? Where does GMail go when it is â€œdeleted?â€ Where do hard drives go when they die? Where are backup tapes secured? Is encryption in place? Has the company even been hacked? Are they willingly handing information over to the government behind usersâ€™ backs?
People willingly let Google do something that the NSA has wet dreams about doing: know EVERYTHING about you. You donâ€™t even have to be a willing participant to be indexed. Soon, when Google lights up its dark fiber, they have the potential to be an internet backbone superpower. Once that happens, regardless of whether or not your web traffic is destined for Google, Google will have the power to catalog and retain this information anyway (Does the case of the secret AT&T wire tapping come to mind?).
And this is where the government steps in. To get these sensitive pieces of your life, all that the Justice Department needs is a secret warrant from a secret court (which they acknowledged exists), which is granted who knows how easily. User #8,889,863,279 is now publicly being scrutinized, no secrets.
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PERMANENT LINK AT http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2006/10/8041/