Oh, and here's a rich piece of irony. We are learning all this during the week the government tried, and spectacularly failed, to launch the critical website for the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." The US can apparently harness the most sophisticated telecommunication and Internet technologies to scoop up and process gigabits of private communications worldwide, but it can't get a healthcare website to work out of the box. Could it be our focus, money and technological talent are being squandered on the wrong kinds of things? In the quest for national security the government has no bandwidth left for health security. Nice.
And, I don't know about you, but I am not happy about being seen by the rest of the planet as the world's premier Peeping Tom. It's bad enough that our own government is sneaking around peaking in our windows, but it's mortifying to learn the US has become Orwell's Big Bro for the entire planet. (Notice, BTW, how all the bellyaching from DC about China's cyber-spying has stopped. The pot can no longer diss the kettle when it comes to sneaking around in cyberspace.)
Do I want to be safe? Sure, who doesn't. But we need to recalibrate what "safe" means in sane, as opposed to clinical-level paranoia terms. Because we are now on autopilot when it comes to cyber-snooping. Clinical paranoids never feel safe, no matter how "secure" they try to make their world. They are always certain "someone is out to get them."They never rest, they never relax, they never stop looking, listening, snooping. And the more the overhear, the more certain they are they are missing something.
When paranoids fail to confirm their suspicions, it only means to them that they are not trying hard enough. So, if you are hoping things will get better, think again. We now on course for a full-blown Big Brother-style national security state... and world. One would think this would be a rare area in which progressives on the left and libertarians on the right could find common ground.
One would think. One can hope.