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Privacy Protection Since Snowden: The World According to Glenn Greenwald (and Me!)

Snowden & Greenwald (Source:

Have a look at this great video interview (courtesy CNET) with journalist Glenn Greenwald on the state of privacy protection since Snowden, and then let me know what you think.

My couple of thoughts are as follows:

  1. I’m not sure I agree with Greenwald when he says Google, Facebook, Apple, etc. “fear a huge exodus of users who are not going to use their services if they’re perceived as partners of the NSA and the DCHQ.

    ”As he later points out, about the only way to avoid using them is to drop out of cyber-sight altogether. Possible? Sure, But practical for most folks? No. So it’s not gonna happen.

  2. On the other hand, I am 100% on board with his observation that “their core business is collecting data. … People think of Google as a search company that along the way collects data. No; it provides search capacities so that you use it so that it can collect data on you” to leverage for any number of purposes.
    As we (and others) have long said, “if it’s free, then YOU are the product.” Just because you don’t have a bar code tattooed on your neck doesn’t mean you’re not a commodity.
  3. Why, then, are these companies paying more lip service overt attention to the public’s privacy concerns? I do not believe it has anything to do with their desire to do the right thing. No, it’s because they want to appear to be self-regulating, and thereby forestall any federal/state/local government action forced by growing public pressure.
    Or am I just being overly cynical?

Please weigh in below – this is a pretty big issue and we’d all like to hear your take. Thanks!

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