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Privacy, Cloud, Kafka & 2013

One Inconsequential Person's Problem Should Lead to A Review by All

No, I don't see black helicopters in the sky. And I don't believe in global conspiracies - I think we humans are far too inept at operating anything complex over the long haul - and at keeping secrets - to somehow build vast, global ruling structures.

But I remain highly concerned about privacy, it's alleged absence in the U.S. Constitution (RIP, Robert Bork, you scoundrel), and how it's been steadily taken away from us in the era of the web and social media.

I laughed along with the rest of the connected world at the poor young Facebook-family lass who felt her human dignity was impugned when one of her pictures got tweeted recently. What a preposterous self-aggrandizement of an inconsequential person's trivial first-world problem, I thought.

But let's hope the incident can help us all re-focus on privacy and the implications of its loss. After our politicians in Washington take us over what will prove to be a non-existent fiscal cliff, let's hope they spend minimal time on resurrecting SOPA/PIPA/Internet Kill Switch nonsense.

Let's hope this is so, knowing that it won't be so. The Obama Administration has shown an alarming continuity with continuing to enforce the police-state policies of its predecessor. The recent acknowledgement by the FBI that last year's Occupy movement drew its concerted attention is just the latest dispiriting revelation of the Obama administrations illiberal tendencies.

We have to fight the good fight this year, push Cloud Computing while supporting groups like the EFF, to keep the IT industry strong and to try to restore some glory and higher ground to the reputation of the United States.

I know this may seem a little grandiose during our day-to-day activities - and I'm heading a cloud-app development team right now, so I don't like to be distracted either. But if we're not distracted by the big stuff, we'll soon find ourselves living in an evermore Kafkaesque place in which quaint First Amendment notions seem as anachronistic as CP/M.

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More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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