You are not Facebook’s customer, advertisers are Facebook’s customer. Same is true for Google. You become an asset that they monetize and sell to their customers, aka the advertisers.
Phil Zimmerman, creator of PGP
in an interview with GigaOM.
In the interview (RTWT), Zimmerman asserts: “It is going to require some push back in the policy space. We are going to have to have Congress react to this and we need to get the population to react, perhaps through the economic consequences we face of losing a lot of business for American internet companies. Maybe American internet companies can push back because of economic harm that comes with the rest of world turning its back on us.”
I agree. I think it’s going to take a long, hard, messy slog through the courts as well to establish as governmental best practices the recognition that:
1) You own yourself, therefore you own the information about yourself. The two are inextricably intertwined.
2) With respect to individual rights, there is and can be no separation between public and private sectors.
There seems to be some strain of belief that, since the Constitution is a bill or particulars limiting the power of the state in acting against the rights of individuals that ONLY the state is so constrained. However, if you read the document carefully, there are few and limited enumerations of government power thus delegated to the Federal government (or, in the case of state constitutions, state governments), but the proscriptions against the infringement or abridgement of rights are absolute and universal.
The Second Amendment, for example, does not start out “Congress shall make no law…” but an assertion that an armed populace is a sine qua non to a state of ordered liberty and ends with an absolute proscription: The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed. No actor, public or private, or at any level of government may infringe upon the right, inhering as it does to the individual.
Anti-self-defense types (and even some pro’s) argue that the RKBA cannot trump private property rights. And, in purely social circumstances, that may be judged to be true, but we are a long way from establishing that in law. (In fact, I assert that the commercial actions thus far taken in defense of RKBA are only the beginning.)
In the meantime, there exists this contention that, if you operate a public accommodation (such as a drugstore lunch counter or an email server), you cannot abridge the rights of individual citizens to assemble or associate freely, or enjoy the blessings of privacy rights, or be free from the requirement to quarter troops in their homes, or self-incriminate, or limit their rights to those enumerated, or suffer an unlimited expansion of Federal power.
If Woolworth’s can’t discriminate on the basis of race whom they serve, how in the hell is it allowed that a book store can forbid the carriage of arms on its premises? Why is it not right, proper, recognized, and expected as such for a Silent Mail to tell — dispositively — the agents of an importuning Federal bureaucracy to “Come back with a warrant — for each and every account whose Fourth Amendment rights you seek to vitiate” — and make it stick?
Department of Redundancy Alert! If you act dispositively, it damned well better stick.
Yeah, it’s gonna take some pushback. It is, as a matter of fact, going to take some smash-mouth constitutionalism, a lot of ruined careers and lives for Federal employees, and — yes — some lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for citizens.
More’s the pity.
People across the political spectrum assert that, if you don’t pay attention to what the government is doing, you deserve what you get. I call bullshit. Why is it that predatory statists are allowed free rein, but people only wishing to be left alone to mind their own business have to sleep with one eye open? Should it not be that the statists are the ones in fear for their lives? Just sayin’s all.