The Genie Is Out Of The Bottle

In reference to the pervasive and previously secret surveillance of basically everyone by the NSA (and who knows who else), the genie has been out and doing it's thing for years - basically since we were hit by al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001. It's time to face up to an uncomfortable truth - that using the Internet in all it's many forms is not private in any meaningful sense, and is largely insecure. Whether it's our own government, or hackers in groups or gangs, or foreign nation states - it's largely open season on the rest of us.

I am not arguing the ethics or morality of our federal intelligence apparatus doing what it's doing, I just want you to be aware of where we are; don't fool yourself into thinking it ain't so. Cloud services, electronic medical records, bank accounts, credit card accounts, social media feeds, email and instant messaging - everything is effectively available to others, or is being actively monitored.

Most people won't stop using the Internet, of course; I won't. In some ways, I can't. But just know what is going on. If at some time in the future we are told it's all okay, and that safety measures have been put in place to protect our civil liberties, I won't believe that.

Those days are gone; the genie is out, he likes it out here, and he won't go back in.

CNET has a sardonically humorous take on all of this - 5 Tech Trends Big Brother Must Love

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