Joy of Tech Comic Looks at Privacy in the Modern Age

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The Joy of Tech has once again offered a bit of biting commentary, this time on the nature of "privacy" in the modern age in the wake of Verizon outrage. On Thursday it was reported that Verizon was giving the U.S. government information about our phone calls, and then another leak later in the day detailed a program called PRISM. The Joy of Tech reminds us that the issue of privacy is more complex—the segment below is just part of the comic.

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3 Comments

Lee Dronick

I very much enjoy the comic strip, it is usually spot on. There are new ones on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

zewazir

Certainly people tend to put a lot of information out there on the social nets, sometimes including information they should think twice about sharing.  However, what we volunteer for others to see in no way excuse government acting like a paranoid tyranny against its own citizenry. Is it legal and constitutional for government to mine social nets for information?  Yes.  Is it right for them to do so?  Only if you like living in the world of George Orwell.

And that does not EVEN address NSA grabbing cell phone records on a casual basis, no matter what innocuous activity they claim to be using them for.

In short, comic aside, we SHOULD be outraged at the actions of our federal government.  We certainly were when FISA was first uncovered - back when it was limited to warrantless tapping of international communications. Of course, Bush was in charge then, so of course it was bad, bad, bad.  Now both Patriot Act and FISA provisions have been VASTLY expanded in scope and intrusiveness, and we shouldn’t complain because bunches of people have a habit of tweeting their bowel movements?

xmattingly

zewazir: Agreed.

There is a definite flavor to the police state hypocrisy that correlates with government invasion of privacy. There is very much a reasonable assumption that if you’re making a phone call, you expect it to be private, which is a constitutional right. Yet NSA apparently has free license to grab anyone’s information at any time, without showing probable cause, due process or a warrant.

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