Today, February 11, 2014, is "The Day We Fight Back," a movement dedicated to reforming government mass surveillance. It's an important cause, one that we hope you'll join by heading to TheDayWeFightBack.org and contacting your representatives in Congress.
But is it enough to merely deal with government surveillance? Part of the the reason why the NSA has been so effective at monitoring American citizens is because of private data mining by tech companies. These companies scan our emails, request pervasive data permissions on our smartphones, and then act surprised when the government taps into their massive data centers and makes copies.
We're disturbed by NSA surveillance, but we're almost equally disturbed by the rise of "big data" and private data mining.
We've written a ton about NSA surveillance. Here are a few of those posts:
Don't just take our word for it though. Here are some facts, courtesy of TheDayWeFightBack.org:
Private Data Mining
This morning, Google's Public Policy Blog announced support for NSA reforms. We've written about data mining tech companies advocating surveillance reform before, but it's worth repeating:
Put it this way: who would you rather have snooping on you: a private company, which exploits the data for advertising, or the government, which does so in the name of national security. How about none of the above?
Calling your Congressperson is a great place to start. Let's restore the Fourth Amendment. Just don't forget that it isn't just the government that is intercepting your data and tracking everything that you do.
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