285622

#179336

Pam Broviak
Participant

I took part in a meeting several months ago online where all of us seemed to be from different countries. The conversation turned to privacy online and what I realized from the discussion was how totally protective people from other countries are of their online privacy. The strength of their feelings about it surprised me – it was not just a casual opinion on their part at all. They thought those of us in the US were way too tolerant of what we allow to be done with our online activity. And all that was before the NSA story broke. I’m including a brief snippet of my comments from that meeting only because it is interesting to read back over them since they were made well before the public knew about NSA’s activity – I removed the name of the other person commenting (of course NSA probably already has this conversation logged!):

[2013/02/03 19:22] me: i think they already do that now without telling us
[2013/02/03 19:24] me: there is no privacy here
[2013/02/03 19:24] me: but we can say anything we want – they just will monitor it
[2013/02/03 19:24] XXXXXXXX: /me waves HELLO to the homeland security guys monitoring this meeting
[2013/02/03 19:28] XXXXXXXX: needle in a haystack
[2013/02/03 19:31] me: I am sure they monitor me – it’s just something i assume
[2013/02/03 19:33] me: they justify it for national security

So I knew just based on my limited experience in discussing this topic with people from other nations during this meeting that this action by our government to intrude upon the privacy of citizens from other countries would not play well overseas. I just keep thinking if someone like me knew this, surely people in our government who weigh all these decisions must have too and decided it didn’t really make a difference since they did it anyway. And they had to know these types of things like what you mentioned in your post would happen when people finally found out. I guess I just don’t know enough about international security to understand why they did it anyway.