Expect Edward Snowden’s breach of his NSA nondisclosure agreement to burn its way around the world.
What is freedom if it is not the ownership of one’s communications with assumed privacy?
What is security if it is not the state’s ability to operate “listening posts” to detect malice against those it has been charged to defend?
I have said of the Islamic Small Wars, and as much may be said of all organized crime and political terror, that they are wars for poets and detectives, the former because 1) what takes place in the mind takes place in language, and 2) what takes place in real space involves the most private forms of collusion and operational communication.
The recapitulation of international web traffic that starts at the Internet’s trunk lines, the robotic sifting for strings and patterns or known quantities, one might call them . . . I’m not sure that bothers me so much.
I am more concerned when the FBI ignores or overrides a valid and reliable Russian intelligence tip-off and Boston marathoners and their families and friends lose their lives or legs: what motivated that negligence before the fact?
I’m also annoyed a little bit about the web bots watching my online shopping and pressing me to buy whatever I’ve browsed on every other Facebook or online news page.
In the end, if we don’t like so much electronic snooping, we can, I suppose, resume living locally and hope the bar, the coffee shop, the barber’s chair, and the local park are not infested with bugs that never bite but only listen.
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