Silicon Valley: Privacy Trumps Safety From Islamic Jihad
Tech giants: protecting customers from theoretical academic privacy intrusions more important than protecting citizenry from Islamic Jihad
Occupy Bawl Street has noted the damage Edward Snowden and his enablers did to the United States’ intelligence apparatus and techniques. Now piggy-backing on the Snowden-sparked nerdy bellyaching about the National Security Agency, companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have decided that protecting citizens from theoretical academic privacy intrusions is more important than helping the government protect citizens from the very real danger of Islamic Jihad:
It’s a good thing Najibullah Zazi didn’t have access to a modern iPhone or Android device a few years ago when he plotted to blow up New York City subway stations. He was caught because his email was tapped by intelligence agencies—a practice that Silicon Valley firms recently decided the U.S. government is no longer permitted.
Last week, the Senate killed a bill once considered a sure thing. The bill would have created new barriers to the NSA obtaining phone metadata to connect the dots to identify terrorists and prevent their attacks. Phone companies, not the NSA, would have retained these records. There would have been greater risks of leaks of individual records. An unconstitutional privacy advocate would have been inserted into Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court proceedings.
The lesson of the Snowden accusations is that citizens in a democracy make reasonable trade-offs between privacy and security once they have all the facts. As people realized that the rules-bound NSA poses little to no risk to their privacy, there was no reason to hamstring its operations. Likewise, law-abiding people know that there is little to no risk to their privacy when communications companies comply with U.S. court orders.
Silicon Valley firms should find ways to comply with U.S. court orders or expect Congress to order them to do so. They also shouldn’t be surprised if their customers think less of companies that go out of their way to market technical solutions to terrorists and criminals. Terrorists Get a Phone Upgrade By L. GORDON CROVITZ Wall Street Journal 11/24/14
And in future news, “Occupy Bawl Street notes the irony of Jihadist attacks on American tech companies…” – Grizzly Joe