Corporations have same information

Friday June 14, 2013

To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I have nothing to hide, so I do not care.

On June 7, America was fine (high levels of unemployment, national debt, and real important issues aside). But with a few articles and some scathing talk radio and television, American apathy turned to outrage. Why do we care now? When we send a gmail, we know Google can read it. When we make a phone call, we know Verizon can trace it. When we send an iMessage, we know Apple knows who read it. When we video chat, we know Skype can monitor it.

So why then, do we care that the government knows this information that we daily trust corporations with? Shouldn’t we fear corporate knowledge of private information more than governmental?

As a Verizon Wireless customer, I know my Social Security number is on file. As an iTunes customer, I know my credit card is on file. So why then, do we mistrust the NSA (flawed as it may be) in its attempt to prevent another 9/11, and trust the same information with Verizon, Apple, Google, and Skype? I do not. It is not that I trust the NSA in its efforts, but I trust the NSA the same amount as the companies that generate my phone, email, and other records.

That is why I believe that it is not the Orwellian state which we fear, and it is not the lack of privacy that we despise, but the overwhelming entitlement to our libertarian heartstrings, that have been dealt a blow.

American anti-government sentiment is not a reaction to the embarrassing Boundless Informant exposed by Edward Snowden, but a crippling disease of idealistic political reactionaries. So I call for an admission that the records the government has now, are no less secure or private than they were while held by their issuers.


Great Barrington

The writer is a student at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.


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