James Corbett: FISA, Facebook, and the End of Privacy

Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Spying and Surveillance with 0 Comments

On December 28, 2012, in the midst of the holiday news break and under cover of the “fiscal cliff” hype, the US Senate quietly voted to approve a renewal of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Although hardly discussed at the time and almost never brought up since, the 2008 FISA Amendments Act represented a fundamental change to the US government’s official, on-the-record approach to the collection of personal data on its own citizens and others around the world.  Find out more about the FISA Amendments Act, Facebook, and the end of privacy in this installment of The Last Word from corbettreport.com.  The transcript for this video is below.

(By James Corbett | corbettreport.com)
January 21, 2013

The gods of irony must have been feeling particularly mischievous this holiday season.

For those who missed it, the Zuckerberg’s private holiday gathering was spoiled last month when a photo of their family festivities was leaked online. In a move described as “way uncool” by Randi Zuckerberg, the victim of this terrible internet crime, Callie Schweitzer took the photo from her Facebook feed and posted it to Twitter. Apparently, Schweitzer believed that the photo had appeared in her feed because Zuckerberg had posted it publicly. As it turns out, the photo was not public, but had shown up in Schweitzer’s feed because she is Facebook friends with Zuckerberg’s sister, who was tagged in the photo. Schweitzer apologized and deleted the picture from her Twitter and the two made peace, with Zuckerberg chastising all the would-be Callie Schweitzers of the world to double-check before re-posting friends’ photos online. Apparently, Zuckerberg believes this to be “internet etiquette.”

This is the type of drama that plays itself out each and every day amongst the hundreds of millions of online users of social media around the world, and all things being equal, you would never have heard about this story. The twist that makes this story particularly ironic—and particularly noteworthy—however, is that Randi Zuckerberg is Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, and the photo in question is a photo of Mark playing around with Facebook’s new “Poke” app.

Yes, that Mark Zuckerberg.

For those living under a rock for the past several years who have somehow managed to miss the years-long buildup of hype around Facebook, from fawning press coverage to David Fincher’s 2010 flick “The Social Network” to the hype surrounding the company’s much-ballyhooed IPO and subsequent market flop, Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook.com. In effect, Zuckerberg’s own controversial privacy settings resulted in his private family photo being seen by millions around the globe.

Some will see this as poetic justice. This is, after all, the same Mark Zuckerberg who participated in an IM exchange with one of his friends in 2004, shortly after launching Facebook, in which he bragged that “I have over 4000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS. People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They ‘trust me.’ Dumb fucks.”

This is the same Mark Zuckerberg who admittedly used the passwords of some of the earliest Facebook users to hack into their email accounts, accessing their personal information.

This is the same Mark Zuckerberg who deflected concerns about the his website’s cavalier approach to protecting users’ privacy by opining that privacy is no longer a social norm.

Read the rest of the transcript at corbettreport.com…


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