Saturday, June 15, 2013

Reality Kicks Sand in the Face of Satire Once Again

When I started up my browser just now, I found this message underneath the Google search box on the home page:
Security and privacy are not optional. Stand with a broad coalition to demand that the NSA stop watching us.
Watching "us"?  What do you mean, "us"?  Google, Facebook and other big computer-related companies have, it's true, had user data seized by the Feds.  But that's partly because they were watching us, collecting data to sell to advertisers, or for their own use.  What I find most depressing, though, is that it's probably going to help to have these big, rich, powerful companies on the side of ordinary citizens in the coming struggle to make the government back down.  Obama will listen to big corporations; he won't listen to us.  But if and when that battle is won, the next one will be to get some control over corporations, which as Noam Chomsky has always warned, are totalitarian organizations without even as much accountability as government has.  They're at least as big a threat to American freedom as Big Government, because they aren't limited by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.  When you step onto private property (and much of not most of what used to be public space is now privately owned), or get a job with a private business, you leave your civil liberties behind you.