It took some backtracking, but I think what the Telegraph article was referring to was this: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/social-networking/2013/11/24/what-will-we-learn-from-the-fall-of-facebook/
For starters, unless I'm mistaken about which article they're talking about, the study wasn't conducted in 8 countries, but one: namely, the UK.
I don't know about the rest of the world, but in the small bubble where I live, my friends and I still regularly use Facebook as a means of interaction (I'm currently 16). Sure, we also use Instagram and Tumblr and Snapchat - those are all there (but for the life of me I have yet to figure out why Snapchat is as popular as it is...). But Facebook is still the primary method of chatting, sharing information, posting pictures, whatever. And yeah, we have Twitter accounts, but Twitter is more for public broadcasting, whereas Facebook has the ability for targeted posting... kind of. In any case, I wouldn't say Facebook is DEAD. My friends all across the country (US) do say that they use Facebook more than other methods of communication out of sheer ease of use.
According to wikipedia:
Espionage or spying involves a government or individual obtaining information... Espionage is inherently clandestine
Yes, Google hands over data to the NSA. Would you rather that they didn't, got sued, and then were forced to fork over even MORE data, possibly along with money? At least this way, as long as Google has some oversight, we can be sure that the NSA doesn't have complete and total access to EVERYTHING. Every single claim is still reviewed by lawyers before anyone gets any information on anybody/thing.
Moreover, Google collects a lot of data, yes, but ANONYMIZED data. Heck, you can always see what they have collected on you, if I remember correctly, if you have a Google account. Anything actually tied to you, furthermore, gets deleted after a set amount of time; I forget exactly what that time is. I think it's searches are kept with IP/account identification for six months, then anonymized at the end of the 6 months, and I don't know how many years it is before it's fully wiped. But this data does not stick around until the heat death of the universe with all personal details attached, despite what many believe. And sure, you can claim that that's what they SAY and that they might keep it longer, but by the same argument they don't do any of this and store no information at all. Either trust the information you're given or say nothing at all. We have no reason yet to believe they've been lying, so there's no reason to do so.
As for the NSA... there's not much we can do right now. The average citizen can do exactly nothing about that right now because the average politician isn't WILLING to do anything. No matter who we elect, nothing is going to change. Sure we can recall a few people, make some noise, but we saw how long that lasted with SOPA - that is, not at all. We need support of major companies and access to lobbyists to actually change anything going on here. Until then everything is just wishful thinking. Though if anyone has any feasible solutions, I'm completely open to hearing them. And I'm pretty sure the NSA collects a LOT of data. That or Google is bugging your telephones too, and the NSA is just requisitioning those bugs. Whichever you think is more likely.
4. Google doesn't spend your tax dollars tracking you.
5. You can tell Google to buzz off if you want.
I see what you did there with the "buzz off" bit. Very clever.
When has an atheist ever committed an act of terrorism in the name of atheism? Or murdered?
I think you'd be hard pressed to dispute that religious persecution (including state sponsored terrorism and murder) occurred in atheist states governed by Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, etc.
While it's true that state sponsored terrorism has occurred in atheist states (mostly communist ones), we're not talking about a government. We're talking about PEOPLE killing other people in the name of atheism. I have yet to hear of a single instance of an atheist having his views attacked and killing or conducting terrorist activities because of in the name of atheism. And if it has occurred, it's certainly not with the same frequency as other religions. What Stalin did was politically motivated, not "religiously" motivated (insofar as it could even be called religious if it's atheism that we're talking about). NOTE: I'm not attacking any one religion, or even religion as a whole; I'm merely making a point. If I have offended anyone because it seemed like I attacked their religion, I do apologize sincerely.
Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson