"A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all."

#Politics

Wed, Jan 1st, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

And with those depressing words, former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden "warned of the dangers posed by a loss of privacy in a message broadcast to Britain on Christmas Day."

"Great Britain's George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. The types of collection in the book - microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us are nothing compared to what we have available today."

"We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go. Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person," he said.

"A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all," said Snowden. "They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalysed thought. And that's a problem because privacy matters, privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be."

And while Wikileaks' Julian Assange is calling for high-tech workers from around the world to "identify as a class and fight power together," the reality is that after forty-years of similar invasion of privacy scandals, with the political reforms that followed, nobody really knows what power is anymore, nor does anyone really care.

The Snowden leaks, which began by exposing the vast interlocking private-public Leviathan, has devolved into a pulp sci-fi story about government Big Brother versus heroic martyrs, the Death Star versus Luke Skywalker. And the more this NSA story is simplified into a mid-20tb Century Orwell tale — rather than a complex narrative about the power of technology sweeping over everything from democracy to culture to business to media, a power that makes no distinction between the public and private — the more paralyzed we’ll be.

Meanwhile, the really important power-politics are taking place right in front of us, but we don’t seem to give a damn. For example, what the hell were those tech heads from Apple, Google, Facebook and other tech giants doing in the White House the day before Obama’s NSA report was released?

No one seemed to think anything was weird about that picture, the picture of corporate power nakedly dictating to a democratically-elected president on the eve of a report that directly concerns those tech titans’ bottom lines. We were too busy cheering on Twitter when Mark Pincus — the social gaming guy who once admitted “I did every horrible thing in the book just to get revenues” — ineffectually sass-mouthed the President over pardoning Edward Snowden.

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