Public Pleasure in Spying, Not Indifference

John Young jya at
Fri Nov 1 10:29:23 PDT 2013

With the rise of the Internet spying has become as ubiquitous as
motherhood and apple pie, no longer the dark world of official spies.

The Internet has made covert spying available to everyone along
with sanctimonious deniability just like the world of spooks.

Running a mail list is spying. Running a hosting service is spying.
Running a website is spying. Running a blog is sphing. Running a
network is spying. Running an email service is spying. Running a
keyserver is spying. Running an anonymizer is spying. Running
an academic data collector is spying. Offering free apps is spying.
Offering free comsec is spying.

Open source is spying. Lurking on fora is spying. Prowling Twitter,
Facebook, Reddit, Slashdot, SM, chat, OTR, Tor, the surface
net and deepnet gamut, is spying.

Baiting and arguing and flattering to induce dislosure is spying.
Hanging, recording, videoing, texting, at gatherings, conferences,
Blackhats, Defcons, RSAs, protests, squats, mash-ups, is spying.

Leaking and sharing in the public interest is spying.

Defending leakers and hackers and protestors is spying.

Accusing and blaming official spies is counterspying, that
is spying.

Journalism is spying, along with every profession, they all

Watching porn is spying, and how!

The public is not indifferent about spying, it is the principal
public past-time and often full-time. Thanks to the Internet and
a slew of personal devices spying has become better than
sex, better than gambling, better than drugs and liquor,
done openly and secretly, here there and everywhere.

Damn fine way to boost the digital economy, and if done well
earns a freedom of information award and a place in the
harem of a billionaire.

At 01:51 PM 10/26/2013, you wrote:
>Excuse me but is public indifference considered 
>to be a new phenomenon is that really what it 
>is? Remember Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers?
>Levels of domestic and international 
>surveillance have intensified logarithmically in 
>the post-war period; just imagine what J. Edgar 
>would have done if he could Hoover up data the 
>way the NSA does. The highest echelons of this 
>behemoth of a security apparatus have taken on a 
>life of its own independent of the governmental 
>controls that are supposed to monitor its 
>activities. Quite presciently Norman Mailer 
>wrote about this ages ago in reference to the 
>CIA; he described how the various entities and 
>fronts that it created began to take on their 
>own economic realities far removed from any 
>governmental controls and now, far beyond what 
>Mailer might have imagined, the government 
>officially and openly sub-contracts security and 
>policing to companies effectively working 
>outside the law. All this just increases daily 
>despite shut-downs and economic crises (after 
>all its sucking up tax dollars just like all the 
>data its accumulating). Indifference is an inaccurate description of wha!
>  t the public is feeling right now. What might 
> be more accurate is a profound sense of 
> cynicism, confusion and fear because the world 
> most of us live in is littered with enormous 
> uncertainties and where survival is high on the 
> daily agenda; and because politicians and 
> government leaders are baffling in terms of 
> their levels of incoherence; and because the 
> omnipresent cloud of some kind of terrorist act 
> lingers in the not far distance (and never mind 
> the kind of atrocities that occur daily enabled 
> by the same systems that govern the 
> surveillance apparatus). So, indifference is 
> not quite appropriate when you start thinking 
> about the future and how it appears or 
> manifests itself stitched into people’s daily 
> routines. This is not to belittle or diminish 
> the importance of what Snowden has done; the 
> impact of his act is hard to quantify as its 
> ramifications will be still felt years from 
> now; the Pentagon Papers had a shock value when 
> they came out also and the NY Times eagerly pub!
>  lished them (and the Times then still had 
> journalistic stature). But, indeed now the 
> times they are a’changing. The real 
> indifference lies not with the public but 
> rather with the shamble of what we politely 
> call the Fifth Estate and the obscene level of public discourse

>bye for now
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