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Tag: privacy

June
14th

Privacy and the NSA: Do you have anything to worry about?

Have the NSA surveillance revelations got you wondering whether your own privacy is being compromised? Or whether it should even matter, since you’re probably not a terrorist?

Privacy expert and law professor Daniel J. Solove has some thoughts on the subject. Here’s an article he wrote for The Washington Post.

5 myths about privacy

By Daniel J. Solove

The disclosure of two secret government surveillance programs — one involving phone records and the other personal data from Internet companies — has sparked debate about privacy and national security. Has the government gone too far? Or not far enough? How much privacy should we sacrifice for security? To discuss these issues productively, some myths must be dispelled.

1. The collection of phone numbers and other “metadata” isn’t much of a threat to privacy.

Don’t worry, argue defenders of these surveillance programs: The government is gathering innocuous data, not intimate secrets. “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” President Obama declared. Intelligence agencies are “looking at phone numbers and durations of calls; they are not looking at people’s names, and they’re not looking at content.” Read more »

June
7th

Eugene Robinson column updated to reflect NSA revelations

thompThe Eugene Robinson column that appeared in today’s paper didn’t reflect revelations about the National Security Agency’s PRISM program. That story broke too late Thursday for him to update the column for Friday. We decided to go with the column as is but switched out a cartoon that only touched on the Verizon angle for this one on cyber spying.

On Friday, the Washington Post moved this updated version of Robinson’s column to reflect President Obama’s comments and news of the previously undisclosed NSA program.

Here’s the revised column.

HANGING UP ON THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY

WASHINGTON – Someday, a young girl will look up into her father’s eyes and ask, “Daddy, what was privacy?”

The father probably won’t recall. I fear we’ve already forgotten that there was a time when a U.S. citizen’s telephone calls were nobody else’s business. A time when people would have been shocked and angered to learn that the government was compiling a detailed log of ostensibly private calls made and received by millions of Americans. Read more »