Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More Censorship

Glenn Greenwald reports
Some day soon, when pro-democracy campaigners have their cellphones confiscated by police, they'll be able to hit the "panic button" -- a special app that will both wipe out the phone's address book and emit emergency alerts to other activists. The panic button is one of the new technologies the U.S. State Department is promoting to equip pro-democracy activists in countries ranging from the Middle East to China with the tools to fight back against repressive governments. . [emphasis in original]
I applaud the effort to make it easier to oppose dictators.  I won't even excoriate corporations for double-dipping and selling blocking software as well as this so-called panic button.

More important than reporting about this panic button is Greenwald's reminder that the US government is also in the business of monitering people's communication.  Greenwald cites the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNET to illustrate the pervasivness of the intrusion before ironically noting
Thankfully, the U.S. is working hard to protect people around the world from "repressive governments" which are "capable of breaking into" the Internet and -- even worse -- use that power to invade people's accounts and learn with whom they're speaking and associating!
I guess it boils down to a simple reminder given by some old texts. The Bible asserts the love of money is the root of all evil.  James Madison claims that government is the greatest reflection of human nature.  It's worth remembering that the link between greed and power is always dangerous.
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