When Glenn Greenwald first broke the story of the NSA spying on not just American citizens, but almost half the world’s population, the short-lived uproar and political backlash, and the resulting media theater, was nothing short of pure unadulterated ENTERTAINMENT. The hypocrisy of the whole situation was something that could only be equated to a Saturday Night Live (SNL) skit. Everyone, from Liberals, Conservatives, and especially Libertarians, were out in full force calling for the impeachment of the President. And although their rage to some degree was justified, I believe their arguments as it pertains to “The Right To Privacy” were baseless and flat-out Hypocritical.
What I’m having hard time grasping is: What Privacy are they talking about?
Whether it be ancient Rome or today’s 21st century modern society, Governments have always spied on their citizens. So there’s really nothing to be surprised here. Maybe the thought of someone sitting in a bunker in the middle of Mojave Dessert listing to your private conversations, might be scary for some; but that’s about it.
Today, no matter what we do, whether it be surfing the Internet, crossing a street, or simply turning ON the Television, Government/Businesses/Marketers are constantly collecting our private information and using it to influence our behavior and the way we interact with our surroundings. For example, while you’re reading this article, the Server in the background as already collected the following information about you:
- IP Address
- Browser and Browser Version
- Operating System
- Your Internet Provider and Your Location (City, State, Country)
If that wasn’t enough, there are programs and software that can be installed on Websites, that’ll allow the webmaster to track your every Click and every movement of the Pointer. Now, before you start punching your computer screen with uncontrollable rage, I want to make sure you understand this: The intention is this case (Website) is not to spy on you, but to gather information and data that’ll help businesses and webmasters create better products/services and create a better overall user experience. With that said, the core idea is still the same: Privacy is something that only exists in our minds.
Being an App Developer and an Online Entrepreneur, I sometimes find myself in a quandary trying to juggle my Morals (Beliefs) and my Business Goals. It’s a tricky situation and there’s no right or wrong answer to this question.
It’s fascinatingly scary how advanced technology is today, and from the way things look right now, we’ve already crossed the “Point of No Return”. There’s no turning back now. We can either embrace this new reality, or spend the rest of our lives fighting it until we can’t anymore.
Nothing has really changed. If Mr. Snowden had never come out and leaked those documents, we would have still gone along with our lives. The fact that we now know that someone has the capability to eavesdrop on our private conversations isn’t going to stop us from using our Phones or Emails. That’s just the way life and the world is sometimes. I respect Mr. Snowden and Mr. Greenwald for their courage; but let’s face it, just because their business is now public, that isn’t going to stop the NSA (Government) from monitoring, or dare I say “Spying”, on its own citizens.
All we can do is swallow our pills, and plug back into The Matrix.