Saturday, January 9, 2016

Everyone Is Watching

About a month back, people were rightly outraged by the Cruz campaign hiring a sleazy data miner to scrape Facebook for information about millions of users. But … but … back in 2011 the Obama campaign put together a database containing information about every registered voter. The Romney campaign couldn't match it, and the database probably won the Democrats the Presidency. Then we had the recent squabble over the Sanders campaign accessing Hillary Clinton's version of the Democratic Party's voter database. And it turns out that one of these databases has been published online, and who knows how may people and groups have read and copied it. And there are the credit reporting agencies, the NSA's PRISM, and who knows what else.

Building a database of personal information about, literally, everyone is within the reach of any moderately wealthy person or group, and it is entirely legal in the USA. The paranoid nightmare of someone watching has been realized. Not only is someone watching, everyone is watching.

Shoulda listened to the cipherpunks when they warned us.

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