Quiz: A government agency wants to monitor social media in the course of performing its function. Is that an obvious use of public information, or further evidence of a dark conspiracy? Oh, good, I see lots of hands for both answers. Let's look at what's really going on here.
You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.
—Scott McNealy (1999)
When people hear about social media monitoring by a government agency—such as the recent news of FBI, DHS, and CIA programs—the usual response is outrage about the perceived violationof privacy. People are living their lives online, and they don't want the government listening in.
Superficially, that's completely understandable. Most of us don't want people eavesdropping on us, even if we aren't hiding anything and don't harbor conspiracy theories. We just like our conversations to be kept within the group we think we're talking to. The usual response makes intuitive sense, even if we realize that these online conversations are, technically, public.
(By the way, I'm assuming that we're talking about governments in free, democratic countries here. Events over the last few years have clearly... Read the article