Friday, January 31, 2014

Poisoned Trust - NSA

Let's assume the NSA is well-meaning and truly trying to promote public welfare.

(In fact, I'm skeptical - I believe the NSA and its private contractors serve corporate interests and other paymasters before they get around to helping us common folk, but...) Let's assume the costly secretive spying is non-political, public-spirited, purposeful and professional.

A key problem is that comprehensive monitoring and data accumulation by the NSA shreds & dirties the provider-customer compact. If a firm asks us to take a survey or seeks feedback, we must assume our responses are copied to government databases and ultimately not confidential. Participation increases our secret police files. As threatened in elementary school - "it goes into your permanent record!"

NSA = Nothing Secure Anymore

Major telecom providers, hardware vendors, and software service companies have become untrustworthy. Their hands are tied. The upshot: our secret police implanted uncertainty & distrust into all our telecom relationships -- the insecurity is very costly for otherwise competitive American businesses.

Poisoned trust does far more damage than a few crazed zealots could inflict.