Thoughts on Guardian’s expose of US Govt Data Mining

I am writing this sitting in Canada, in a language given to me by my education and colonial history. Some of my best friends and mentors have been Americans, Europeans and Asians. I will try and state this as objectively as possible.

  1. If China’s government sees your data or even data of dissidents, it is considered bad, but if the US Government does it, it is considered okay. Is that really okay? I would trust the SCOTUS, the IRS, the Congress, but I am not sure I should trust the Pentagon, NSA and White House with zero restraints.
  2. In reality no human eye can see so much data. They have algorithms running for text mining, automated programs that enable human analysts to zoom in if required. The US government is not presumably interested in your dating life but the data is there.
  3. Economic Espionage has been a traditional tradecraft of Western policy since they borrowed gunpowder and silk from China, to Operation Paper Clip , giving Nazis pardons for US space programs.
  4. USA has a long tradition and policy of government and defense working with the private sector to give them economic advantages. Internet was released by Al Gore and DARPA.
  5. With the new challenges of climate change, economic rivalry, diminishing energy resources- should the US government be trusted with almost 80% of the data flowing through the English speaking Internet.
  6. The collection of data from non American citizens effectively makes this an undeclared cyber-war that the Obama government is waging against the world.
  7. If Albert Einstein could protest nuclear weapons 60 years ago, as data scientists it is our community’s duty to clear the rules of engagement of data collection and data mining. Before we get into one more cyber cold war.obama-big-brother

Barack_Obama_Hope_poster

 

I am disappointed with Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple for not even once protesting this move.

I would also like to know what is the expense in past 7 years of this monitoring and how many threats were neutralized (and why the Boston Bombers and others could not be)

I would like to know if data belonging to members of the US Congress was collected or purged by the records from the NSA or if there are any exclusion criterion for people or was data collected for everybody

Read more here- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data

To my intense horror, it seems Julian Assange was right about Eric Schmidt.

There are NO ways of making money that are NOT evil.