I saw on TechCrunch this morning the very funny video from The Onion about Facebook really being a CIA-funded operation—The Onion: Facebook “Is Truly A Dream Come True For The CIA” (Video)—and while the segment from The Onion is satire and comedy, you do have to wonder for just a moment about what the video is really saying.
Think for a moment about how much you share online. Okay, tame stuff I’m sure. Oh wait, maybe not those tweets from the office party last month. Anyway, maybe the government (ours or other governments) might not be interested in you in particular (and if they are interested in you in particular you have whole other set of issues to deal with my friend), but they are certainly interested in us. What is the national sentiment, what are issues that are top of mind? Probing deeper, sure things posted on social networks could be used to organize crime and terrorism, but just the data about what we all chatter about is tremendously interesting.
I’m not going to delve into a rant about conspiracy theories or any of that stuff, just pause for a moment and think about what you post and how really public it all is. It doesn’t matter if the CIA owns Facebook or Twitter or whatever, what matters is that we’ve become kinda complacent about what we share and with whom we share it.
I’m not a privacy and security nut. I don’t want people hijacking my accounts, so I use strong passwords. I don’t want people snooping around my home network (or using my bandwidth), so I lock down my wifi. And I don’t want people reading our draft press releases, strategy plans, financials, so I use eCrypt.me. This has nothing to do with hiding things, it has to do with “it’s none of your business, thank you”, and I don’t think that’s too much to ask, do you?