[quotemsg=11145783,0,1335260]DAEKAR... umm... I personally think that you are more dangerous to society than the NSA. I don't know about drug dealers like yourself, but I couldn't care for 3 seconds if the government knew everything I did.[/quotemsg]
Wow! I'm just shocked at how narrow minded some of you are, especially when I know that you're "intelligent" people. Do you really think this is about what people e-mail each other or who's friends with whom on facebook!? That is the tip of the iceberg, actually its not even the iceberg at all...
This is about unrestricted corporate and political espionage on an unprecedented scale, with the potential to destroy start-ups and innovation through small business on a mass scale and render any political system entirely undemocratic. Democracy, when you get into the details of how it works as a system, requires privacy to function.
Everything that is stored digitally is now not safe no matter how well encrypted. With the huge NSA infrastructure, they chew through AES 256 and anything else in minutes, not to mention that it is pretty safe to assume they have quantum up and running.
So pause .... and think about that for a moment.
This is about the potenial for rampant IP theft prior to any possibility of patenting and without any means of impartial or judicial oversight. Anyone with access to the NSA database will be able to aspire to levels of corruption that were heretofore unimaginable. I find it hilarious that people are discussing privacy in terms of private messages and personal info or opinions. This is much greater, this is the capability for complete and absolute insider trading on a mass-scale. This is the ability to render any politician or indeed any political system entirely insignificant insofar as those with access will know every single opinion, idea and decision by anyone of any significance in terms of power. Supreme Court Justices, Lawyers in anti-trust suites, Congressmen, Senators, investigative journalists, CEOs, Professors in fields of scientific research etc etc. This is a simultaneous assault on the vestiges of the 4th and 5th Estates from which threatens to evict us "the people" from any entitlements in either of them. In terms of knowledge and power, the NSA database projects combine to create the largest, most powerful unifying force in history with ability to gift the accepted few power that we cannot even begin to conceive the full ramifications of.
Sure, Govt. has always been in surveillance of its citizens, but this has always been a numbers game. Whenever the powers that be have acquired disproportionate power to render numbers and public opinion powerless bad things happen. Critically, Govt. has never before in history been able to render the numbers in the surveillance game insignificant. They now sit on the doorstep of the that potentiality.
I'm not saying that this is happening right now, but that it is the path we are on. Certainly in light of the Snowden leak they are learning their lessons. Soon all low and mid level operators will be on the old WWII style directives of a strictly "need-to-know" basis. Once this is inevitably implemented to safeguard against leakers, the next inevitable step is the eventual corruption of those few who sit with the bigger picture. As there is no effective oversight in place, there is no way that this will not happen.
So sure, I could care less if the Govt. knows what I am doing. Heck, I would love it if someone there was interested in the immunological research that I conduct or the political opinions that I hold, but I highly doubt that is the case. Which is why I am writing this right now. What I care about is the ramifications that this will have on the free market and the global economy, not to mention human progress. I see this gargantuan surveillance system as the most ridiculous and wasteful example of "security theatre" yet to exist, but I fear a far worse conclusion if it is allowed to continue in the direction it is currently heading