News Fatigue

Posted on Thu 16 October 2008 in misc

The relentless news coverage of the collapse of capitalism gets a bit wearing at the time. Sometimes it's hard to keep a sense of perspective with other things going on. One piece of good news was 45 days getting shelved for the meantime. The government had to cock up a good move by pushing forward with a policy that would make Big Brother proud. One of the many problems of massive centralised databases is that it makes investigators lazy. They can already monitor my traffic if they need to now, using whatever mechanism they have at their disposal. However before they can tap me they need to have done some ground work (also known as intelligence work) to determine I'm worth looking at. With a big database to mine they will spend more time doing wonderful statistical analysis of peoples private behaviour to point at "probable targets" netting the inevitable false positives. All this time not noticing that a bunch a really interesting email left a server in Germany because hey everyone knows the Brit's read all their citizens email.

Politicians need to learn that huge technical solutions that infringe on citizens privacy are not silver bullets. Yes IT has a role in making the world a better and safer place but not by becoming a tool of oppression. It's also a technological pissing contest that the people that really want to go about their business unnoticed will be able to do.

Talking of draconian legislation there was a degree of schadenfreude at McCain vs the DMCA. The DMCA has lived up to the many of the predictions made of it since it was introduced. Obviously the idea that politicians should have a special exemption to the DMCA not available to the normal citizenry is laughably unbalanced with respects to free speech. This is especially pointed given the growing influence the digital sphere has on politics these days.