Sunday, June 9, 2013

(Politics) Why Government Privacy Breaches Have Very Little To Do With Privacy

While most Americans may experience shock and anger upon reading news stories that inform them of the extent that their fourth amendment rights have become obsolete, it would confirmed what more informed parties among the American populous have been witnessing for 12 years and even longer. For all the breaches of the fourth amendment under the Bush Administration and the Obama rhetoric promising his regime will avoid following suit, the Obama Administration  not unlike many other issues, has largely continued and even escalated policies started under the Bush administration to the point that it has become a fair question to ask whether the president is at the helm of a car or express train.

The president has stood up and defended the mass data collection of millions of his fellow citizens and argued its legality which must gall constitutional law professors across the nation that one of their own is actually arguing in favor of one of the biggest fourth amendment breaches ever.

However, what makes the recent stories in the press detailing privacy breaches by the executive branch so interesting is not the breaches of the fourth amendment, as it should be, but the ongoing struggle and debate over where executive power begins and corporate power ends as the reality is that there is no beginning or end to both as the split is arbitrary and metaphorical.  

The Obama administration has been clearly demanding that corporations (most of them in the tech field) should give their vast store of data for analysis and many, despite some denying such actions, have cooperated and in the case of Verizon, have been forced by secret court orders to give up information of their customers. Many in the press have been arguing that these companies should put the privacy of their customers before anything else but what they don't seem to realize is that despite the talk of corporate power, corporations have to acquiesce when the state asserts itself.

In sum, for the last two to three decades, we have often heard of  the diffusion of power or the end of the state power which has been true for the most part with regards many issues but as last week showed, not where it counts.

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