Feels a little like we’ve hit rock-bottom on the NSA front. The release of XKeyscore program is really chilling, but more than that one effort, it’s the cumulative effect of everything that has come out over the last two months. Things i was speculating on in previous posts (TLS / https being compromised, and if you think that ends at them asking nicely, think again) are now common place facts.
What makes the XKeyscore story terrifying is that the presentation is from 2008. Given everything that you’ve said and done online, in mail, chat, search history, phone calls, etc. how hard do you thing it would be to conflate all that into a reason to make your like miserable? The point isn’t that this is going to happen, just that its possible, completely outside the rule of law (secret courts, gag orders, etc) and seemingly unaccountable. And, that’s all without the seemingly endless possibilities for abuse by insiders. Apparently there is nothing more than process and training standing in the way of blackmail, stalking, personal profit, revenge, falsification. End up on the no-fly list? Good luck!
We’re getting close to the point where the current internet is no longer fit for purpose. A lot of people are emotionally invested in the potential for the ‘net to disrupt, revolutionize, renew almost all aspects of society. At some point they are going to have to come to terms with the downside currently outweighing the upside.
The bad part is that it doesn’t really look like there is much that can be done to undo this state of affairs. The majority of the press isn’t reporting on this, working through the consequences (presumably because they feel safer reporting what their approved government sources provide them, cowed by the fear of being excluded), the public doesn’t seem to understand what is at stake, and those that do are already scared of taking any kind of stand.
I should be angry, but instead i’m unaccountable sad. For us all.