This blog is too small to be this much work. I’m considering closing comments altogether or incorporating Facebook comments after clearing out nearly 8,000 spam comments posted after I upgraded my WordPress installation and Akismet somehow crapped out, alongside Disqus.
That would explain the random dDOS attacks on this blog that happen when I post anything new, too. Disqus is a great service but I’m not thrilled with how this all happened, or what a challenge moderating them was.
On the plus side, there have been some outstanding comments posted here, well worth taking the time to read. So I’m torn.
Talk me down or talk me into it. I’ll leave comments open on this one.
I’ll start with this: It bothers me when anyone says a reporter should be arrested for reporting what is a newsworthy story. It bothers me more than knowing that if I were to email someone in Pakistan or Russia or China those emails might be captured by one of four NSA data capture programs.
Glenn Greenwald and I are not bosom buddies. I say that because you, the reader, should know that I’m not defending him because we’re BFFs who get each other’s back. I do not like the way this story was broken, I don’t like the paranoia that has come out of it, and I don’t care for the misshapen debate about what might be acceptable limits and balances on national security versus individual privacy. [click to continue…]
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around what I think about all of the revelations about PRISM and the Verizon phone orders. Anyone who has read this blog for a long time (all two of you), knows how I reacted when Bush did it, sans warrant, and if you read me back in 2007 and 2008, my reaction was more angry, and indiscriminate about where I focused my anger.
Those were the days when we weren’t blasting out our locations with pictures and updating statuses every 30 seconds in a public venue. There was no Foursquare, Twitter was still the province of geeks and edge cases, and Facebook was that place where college kids could hang out with their classmates.
Simply put, today’s Internet leaves you numb to the thought that a) anyone gives a shit what you do and say online; and b) if they do give a shit, it’s only because they profit from it. Those days about worrying about ad cookies? Forget it. That’s just a tiny, less profitable corner of the Internet. Your internet provider knows exactly what you do online if they’re interested, and there’s not a damn thing anyone can really do about it.
Corporate vs. Government Tracking
It is one thing to know that your actions online might turn a profit for some large corporation. Likewise, it’s one thing to know that your supermarket knows who you boycott and who you don’t, what you eat and whether you’re dieting, if you have kids or your kids have moved out, how many males and females live in your house, and whether you live a green lifestyle or are a conspicuous consumer.
It is entirely another to know that you could say or do or write something that triggered a keyword that puts you right under the spotlight of the FBI or the NSA. Yes, there are warrants. Yes, those warrants are obtained via a court of law. And yes, that court basically rubber stamps requests without much in the way of questions. [click to continue…]