Hmm. I tried to post a link to this to my Facebook account using Firefox, but couldn't. I block ads and trackers (and Flash) so all of this web interconnectedness just stops working. Safari hung so I was left running this though Goggle's grubby little, but not doing evil, fingers using Chrome. I use Little Snitch (Do you?) I connected to the NYTImes.com and Facebook only, but 51 servers were called. Why? What oversight do any of these extra servers have? Who are they? Why do I have to provide a unique bar code to get a sale price at Walgreen's? The Supermarket? How is this NSA graph different then Facebook Graph Search?
And still, all of these posters want me to freak out over this. Why? What is that obvious thing I am missing?
If the internet is a commons then what expectation for privacy do you have? If you walk around in the street you can be watched. Anyone can go though your garbage once it's off your property. Someone can glance over the mailman's shoulder and see what mail you are getting.
To Quote Steve Fankuchen of Oakland CA on the NYTImes web site (Am I allowed to do this, or is this the private property of the New York Times Inc and must be defended with my many guns?)
Why anyone ever thought any of what they did online was private has always been a mystery to me. But, then again, I am a dinosaur, veteran of earlier versions of the same sort of activity.
Unfortunately, what people, especially young ones, don't seem to get is that as odious and unconstitutional as government spying on Americans is, there is at least some accountability there. The reality is that individuals (whether you want to call them whistle blowers, hackers, traitors, or patriots) in the government have access to and can release information whenever they want. (Snowden is an excellent example.)
Worse, corporations have no real accountability for their actions regarding the amassing and release of data, and if you think Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg can be voted out of office, let alone go to jail, you have been doing way too much drugs. (Here one might consider the banks as a somewhat parallel example.)
I expect it will take a generation or two coming of age with this reality before people start changing their online behavior. Once the technology is there, laws are only effective at the margins.
A comic strip many years ago (it may have been Pogo) had two kids talking on tin can phones. A third has his off to the side, connected to their line. One of the two says to the other, "Who's he?" To which the other replies, "Oh, he works for the government."
Tin can phones? Yes, I am dating myself.
I think the people posting on and on and on about their privacy need to grow up a little and realize what he internet really is not. Private or Free. The fundamental deal of the internet is that you give away your privacy in exchange for free data.