Sunday, November 18, 2007

Facebook and the CIA

You might not feel threatened when the CIA's number-two man announces he doesn't take online privacy that seriously — unless you believe he has your Facebook password.

"(In) our interconnected and wireless world, anonymity — or the appearance of anonymity — is quickly becoming a thing of the past," said deputy director of US intelligence Donald Kerr late last month.

"Privacy, I would offer, is a system of laws, rules, and customs with an infrastructure of Inspectors General, oversight committees, and privacy boards on which our intelligence community commitment is based and measured."

Mr Kerr basically announced that the US Government is to be trusted when it comes to monitoring internet activity and correspondence.

And why would the average Australian Facebook user care about this?

Any Facebooker who bothered to read the fine print when signing up should already know they've granted the social networking giant "an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license to use" their personal information at leisure.

If conspiracy theorists are right, the more than 50 million Facebook users who agreed to those terms may have unwittingly sold their online souls to the US Central Intelligence Agency.

If you've got a Facebook and are worried about the men in black peering into your life, unfortunately it's too late to escape.

You can't delete an account on the site, you can only "deactivate" it. All of your information remains with the site, ready to be re-activated (or data-mined by people with the right credentials) at any time.

One possible solution — change your profile name to Donald Kerr, and your interests to "controlling the internet". Delete your contacts, format your hard drive and move to Mexico.

No comments: