As if nobody know, Julian Assange, told that Facebook and other social networking tools are being used as intelligence gathering mechanisms by the police and other spy agencies.
It is no secret, spy used to be lurking in bars and restaurants to get the information on suspects. Now, internet has made it easier – people post such information online. The jobs of spies are made easier. All they need is data gathering and analysis tools and a little bit of common sense to spy on anybody with online presence.
Assange told that the information that Facebook collects is a huge resource for the U.S. government to keep track of its users. He added, Google and Yahoo also “have built-in interfaces for U.S. intelligence.”
Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them.
I agree with Assange. But, I also believe, it is nothing new. Nobody forcefully divulges information in Facebook and it is something one would tell to the person’s pal in any public places. Although it looks scary how the information is distributed all over the world; people will get used to it and will learn to live with it. There is nothing one can do to stop people from telling what they want to tell. If it were not Facebook, there were other tools that people used to speak their mind out.
Spies are all over the internet – they are scouring blogs, forums, website comments and everywhere. Complaining doesn’t solve anything. Starting awareness campaign might help people to better manage their information.
As expected Facebook spokesperson told Forbes:
We don’t respond to pressure, we respond to compulsory legal process. There has never been a time we have been pressured to turn over data — we fight every time we believe the legal process is insufficient. … The legal standards for compelling a company to turn over data are determined by the laws of the country, and we respect that standard.
Whatever Facebook says, it is an open secret, the information can eventually land in unintended hands. The users should be well aware of such things and let the technological development go on.
Some say, Wikileaks has has changed the world.
Others say, if Wikileaks hadn’t happened, something else like that would have happened. It is the beginning of the evolution.
Thom Hartmann, host of The Big Picture, looks at what WikiLeaks has revealed to the world, and looks at whether Julian Assange is a new kind of revolutionary, reading quotes from Assange’s book, "The United What of America?"
Properties of a corporation as a nation state:
- Suffrage (the right to vote) does not exist except for land holders ("share holders") and even there voting power is in proportion to land ownership.
- All executive power flows from a central committee. Female representation is almost unknown.
- There is no division of powers. There is no forth estate. There are no juries and innocence is not presumed.
- Failure to submit to any order can result in instant exile.
- There is no freedom of speech. There is no right of association. Love is forbidden without state approval.
- The economy is centrally planned.
- There is pervasive surveillance of movement and electronic communication.
- The society is heavily regulated and this regulation is enforced, to the degree many employees are told when, where and how many times a day they can go to the toilet.
- There is almost no transparency and something like the FOIA is unimaginable.
- The state has one party. Opposition groups (unions) are banned, surveilled or marginalized whenever and wherever possible.
WikeLeaks founder Julian Assange with 382,026 public votes and average rating of 92 leads the Time magazine public poll. But, the winner is somebody else – ranking 10 in the list Mark Zuckerburg with rating of 52 with only 18,353 votes.
It was Julian Assange who shook the world with Iraq Apache helicopter attack, Guantanamo Bay leaks, Scientology and Climate Reasearch e-mail leaks, and the world diplomacy earthquake – Cablegate. 2010 was the year when WikiLeaks had shocked the world. These releases have created ground-breaking impact in the world in 2010, and many think Assange is much deserving person in the list. Some argue, Facebook and Zuckerberg has done nothing in the year 2010 as most of the things are unchanged from the year 2009.
But, Time officials don’t think so. Many suspect Uncle Sam was acting behind the scene.
The Wikileaks’ cablegate has angered governments, leaders, and citizen all over the globe. Few but powerful targeted their anger against Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Majority were angered by the the US government’s approach in dealing with the current situation and its diplomatic approach in dealing with the foreign countries.
The Brazilian President, Lula, says, "The guilty one is not the publisher, it is the person who wrote.."
The Ecuadorian government has even offered Julian Assange residency in the country "without any conditions".
For those who want to know more on cablegate, a UK newspaper, Guardian, has published a detailed analysis on the reaction of about 40 countries in different parts of the world.
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