Government&Internet vs. Privacy

The Pandora’s box is opening. Just days ago, we learned Verizon, under the federal government’s orders, have been gathering data without the consumer’s knowledge or permission. We then learned other major phone companies doing the same thing. Now, we learn online companies may?have dabbled in this for years.

According to the NY Times, government officials wanted Silicon Valley to make it easy to get data on consumers. In fact, companies like Google and Yahoo and other major online powerhouses were required to share data under the Foreign Intelligent Surveillance Act. All these companies denied giving the government full access to servers, but said they complied with federal orders to the best of their ability.

Then there’s the talk of PRISM. According to one whistleblower, they can watch your ideas as you type. I wouldn’t go that far, but PRISM is definitely worth learning about. At least online companies did put up a fight, only going so far. Twitter certainly didn’t make it easy. But I think we all need to be careful of what we post, even what we email. You never know who might be watching, literally. Earlier this week on karaoke, I sang Rockwell’s 1984 hit “Somebody’s Watching Me”. This song is more timely now than it was 29 years ago. Are we heading toward a new normal?

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