Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Why Care About the NSA?", a short film from the New York Times

Electronic Frontier Foundation has tweeted its recommendation to watch a short film by Brian Knappenberger and the New York Times.  I believe the film might be screened in some short film festivals. It is titled “Why Care About the NSA?” The link for the film is here
David Sirolta, Kurt Opsahl and Daniel Ellsberg speak.

One of the reasons given for caring is that most people don’t really know when they may be doing something “wrong”.  Journalists and bloggers may find that this comment particularly applies to them. (My "implicit content" problem might be a good example.)  Another is that private companies that track don’t prosecute, but the government (using data from the National Security Agency) could.  And still a big reason is the idea that data could be used to go after activists unpopular with government, especially with the right wing.  These could include union organizers and pro-abortion activists, or pro-military.  Imagine, one woman said, what “Gunner” Joe McCarthy could have done with a modern NSA.

The New York Times reported Tuesday, in a piece by Nicole Perlroth and John Markoff, that the NSA has developed a "peephole" to penetrate Google and Yahoo!, with the fiber-optic cables from Verizon that connect the data centers, which are themselves heavily secured.  The story is here.  There are major data bunkers in Loudoun County VA and in North Carolina, for example.  

It gets worse (not better).  Huffington Post reports, in a staff story that the NSA spies on "porn viewing" in order to find "radicalizers" whom to discredit, link here. An online reputation issue, maybe?

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