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How Facebook, Amazon and Google abused the Patriot Act since 9/11




Twenty years have passed since September 11, 2001, when we knew it and turned American life upside down and started us into a series of new normals. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Americans embraced a significant increase in government control, including the Patriot Act, which allows for greater government oversight.

Immediately after the withdrawal of the Americas from Afghanistan in 2021, we are in yet another state of emergency amid an increasing climate disaster and when our country is still fighting a raging pandemic. .. We do not yet live in Orwell’s Dystopia. But this time, we cannot waive the hard-earned rights to a series of endless emergencies.

We have accepted many common privacy breaches, including airport screening by the newly established Transportation Security Administration. However, we have also accepted more anxious, large-scale, long-term privacy breaches, such as the National Security Agency collecting large amounts of data from phone records. Immediately after the 9/11 attack, we discriminated against fellow Americans, including Muslim Americans and other black and brown Americans who were collateralized in endless wars with faceless enemies. Seems to have accepted.

Despite what some privacy alerters might say, we haven’t lost all privacy rights since 9/11. However, we have accepted government privacy breaches in the name of national security and public security. But that doesn’t answer why it seems to have embraced the increasingly harmful data ecosystem that has evolved with the proliferation of enterprise surveillance and the advent of Internet-connected technologies.

The rise of the Internet, mobile devices, and connected technologies has created a data ecosystem that is willing to provide personal information to countless faceless businesses. Social media platforms such as Facebook scoop up our posts and user behavior data. Google scans your email. Amazon keeps track of our shopping history.

Countless other companies collect our data and buy it from data aggregators. Our data can be used against us and current privacy laws are not sufficient to protect against the harm of aggregate data in today’s connected world. There isn’t even federal privacy law in the United States.

Over the last two decades, not only has government and corporate surveillance increased explosively, but so has public-private surveillance partnerships. Amazon is currently affiliated with more than 2,000 law enforcement agencies in the country and has contracts that include sharing video and audio data from privately owned ring cameras.

Facial recognition company Clearview AI has been accused of selling surveillance technology abroad with little government surveillance. When we export such technology, we risk supporting oppressive regimes and can use it to quell political objections, suppress minorities and commit human rights abuses. I have. Clearview’s CEO acknowledges interest from other countries, but says the company is “very focused on the United States and Canada” and will not do business in “very disadvantaged to the United States.” ..

Better and stronger legislation is needed to protect privacy and personal rights, especially during an ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Twenty years ago, we abandoned our right to privacy for national security and security. Today we may waive more privacy rights for public health.

Safety and public health are important, and it is important for the government to protect both. But just as 9/11 changed the way we think about privacy and civil liberties, today pandemics are changing the way we assess the trade-off between the protection of personal rights and the protection of public health.

We must not lose sight of the importance of privacy in protecting freedom and autonomy. Before it’s too late, we still have time to fight for our rights against both government and corporate intrusions and protect our privacy and other civil liberties.

You can’t go back to the pre-pandemic or pre-9.11 era. However, you can create better new normals. You can stop exporting surveillance technology to countries where the technology is known to be used to commit atrocities. We can impose strict standards on privacy and demand the protection of civil liberties from businesses and our governments. You can pass federal privacy law. We work with like-minded nations to raise the bar for privacy and human rights around the world, set new norms and legal standards in the world, and thereby support not only fellow Americans, but humanity as a whole. can do.

This is possible because we are still living in free democracy, despite the increased surveillance since 9/11 and the new enterprise-led data ecosystem. We have the right to speak and speak freely about what we believe, even if it involves diminishing government power. We have a free market where you can vote with your wallet and a fair election process where you can choose the people who govern us.

Privacy and civil liberties are the foundation of our democracy. We have to do better because we are watching over the world, not just for ourselves. Protecting America’s privacy, freedom and democracy can help democracy and the cause of freedom around the world now and in the future. Its future is always worth fighting.




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