If a concept exists in 2013 that could be a bigger joke than privacy, it’s “metadata.” First of all, it’s just ye olde, standard issue data; data that we’ve all come to accept will be collected from us if we dare to engage in such illicit activities as using a browser or a cell phone (meta probable cause?). Basically, for the sake of big data and the U.S. government, the words “meta” and “involuntary” are pretty much interchangeable; any info you happen to give up over the course of your natural existence is now being catalogued and, in spite of Obama’s half-hearted and frankly dubious assertions to the contrary, may be used against you in the future. Just ask the drug defendants, convicted using NSA tips and then misled about their initial point of incrimination, who are currently fighting the uphill battle to prove their rights were violated.
In the T.G.I.F. spirit (that’s This Garbageplanet Is Frightening) comes news of the latest technological “advancement” revealed at a recent hacking/security conference in Kuala Lumpur: the FBStalker script! As in, Facebook stalker. I know the name may mislead you, but no, the product does not cure sickness or world hunger; however, it does comb deep into graph search using a Python script that basically speeds up what tens or hundreds of hours in human research could do, but minus the cost and ethics of a living, breathing research assistant.
In other words, we’re doomed. But at least we’ll be spared the shame of relinquishing our last breath of freedom to another sentient flesh sack, because by the time we’re all getting snapped up for thought crimes, the defector apprehension process will be fully automated.