Your Mobile Data is 5.5 Billion Dollar Industry

Snowden keeps trying to tell us that Government is scary. What is scary is that the data the Government is trying to gather has been available for purchase for years.

Most people are aware of the big three (Facebook, Google, & LinkedIn) selling their data. The movement for privacy control seems to be crusaded by second rate freeware and low budget software. LifeHack has some good articles on this stuff:

But the real data, your phone call metadata and internet usage, is a 5.5 Billion dollar industry. This number is just the Wallstreet value of your wireless data. It does not include the selling of landline data and Internet usage data by the carriers.
Snowden focuses on the Fourth amendment, as if this is what the Government is violating:

“[T]hat means we have to be intercepting all traffic flows,” Snowden told WIRED’s James Bamford. “That means violating the Fourth Amendment, seizing private communications without a warrant, without probable cause or even a suspicion of wrongdoing. For everyone, all the time.”

Sadly, Snowden is wrong as this data is not necessarily private. Asking the Government not to look at public data is akin to asking Policeman to wear blinders until there is a dead body. Walking the beat with eyes open is what we have asked for as a society. Snowden is missing the base issue with Internet privacy, that legally it can be seen as public data. The problem is with public metadata we can often deduce what is not seen.  In short, metadata can allow us to learn fairly private things; we all know this.  To address access to metadata, there needs to be legal changes. A fact that the EFF has been dealing with for a decade. The EFF is an organization that feels like is kept alive by the hardcode DEFCON attendees.

As Snowden highlights the extent of what is capable, it should be noted that almost all of this has been in place commercially. And there are 5.5 Billion reasons these laws are not going to change.

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