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Government Businesses Privacy

How Silicon Valley Helped the NSA 163

theodp writes "The U.S. tech giants' pledge to up their privacy game in the wake of reports that all-your-data-belong-to-the-NSA rings a little hollow to Abraham Newman, who reminds us that such protections run counter to the business model and public policy agenda that tech companies have pursued for decades. 'For years,' writes Newman, 'U.S. information technology (IT) firms have actively backed weak privacy rules that let them collect massive amounts of personal data. The strategy enabled the companies to work their way into every corner of consumers' lives and gave them a competitive edge internationally. Those same policies, however, have come back to haunt IT firms. Lax rules created fertile ground for NSA snooping. In the wake of the surveillance scandals, as consumer confidence plummets, technology companies' economic futures are threatened.'"
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How Silicon Valley Helped the NSA

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  • Re:Strange (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 11, 2013 @07:30AM (#45389977)

    All of us were NOT "OK" with companies collecting this information. If you were, I'm sorry for you. In order to be OK with that you'd have to believe that corporations don't have disproportionate power over peoples' lives, that they won't sell you out in a heartbeat because it's profitable or because they don't want to be bothered, and most importantly, that information once collected won't be abused. Information will ALWAYS be abused and there are only two cures for that: don't collect it in the first place, or jail the abusers of it. That latter is kind of satisfying, but rather hard to pull off unfortunately. It is far better to not allow the collection in the first place, and that means reeling in corporate power in addition to government power.

    You say the threat level isn't the same. I would submit to you that the only reason we don't have private corporate armies running around the US (we used to) is that they have simply outsourced that task to the government. So when you speak of government or corporations in this country, you're just talking about the same large entity which has to be stopped.

  • Re:Strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Monday November 11, 2013 @08:33AM (#45390185) Homepage Journal

    Actually - you DO have some choice. Did you fill out that frequent shopper's survey? Chump. Did you supply your telephone number the last time you purchased a pizza over the counter? Chumped again. Do you give out your cell phone and email address everytime a vendor requests it? Chumped, chumped, and chumped, over and over again. Do you use that credit card for ALL your purchases? You are so chumped!

    Use dollar bills, in person, and refuse to supply information of any kind to the vendor. THEY DON'T NEED ANY INFORMATION TO MAKE A SALE!!

    But, if you insist on getting that penny discount on your next bag of Cheeto's, go ahead and play their game.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford