Get the Hell Off Facebook

Your Faceborg profile may well be used against you:
Since this story was first reported, we’ve been in discussions with U.S. national security authorities urging them to allow more transparency and flexibility around national security-related orders we are required to comply with. We’re pleased that as a result of our discussions, we can now include in a transparency report all U.S. national security-related requests (including FISA as well as National Security Letters) – which until now no company has been permitted to do. As of today, the government will only authorize us to communicate about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range. This is progress, but we’re continuing to push for even more transparency, so that our users around the world can understand how infrequently we are asked to provide user data on national security grounds. 
For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000. These requests run the gamut – from things like a local sheriff trying to find a missing child, to a federal marshal tracking a fugitive, to a police department investigating an assault, to a national security official investigating a terrorist threat. The total number of Facebook user accounts for which data was requested pursuant to the entirety of those 9-10 thousand requests was between 18,000 and 19,000 accounts.
I closed down by Facebook account over 2 years ago. I've never looked back since. I have little patience for social media- I find it a rather pointless exercise in navel-gazing and Beta-orbiting. And now, like everything else, it will be turned against you.

The power of the Panopticon grows daily. This blog is undoubtedly being surveilled for "undesirable elements"- as, I'm sure, are many others like it. Your dating profiles, your bank accounts, your credit card statements- they're all available for the government to draw whatever conclusions it wants. Much of this is unavoidable; we opened the electronic genie's bottle and there's no way of stuffing it back in now. But you should not, under any circumstances, be deceived about the intentions of those who watch you. They don't need you to commit wrongdoing anymore to find you; they can now infer wrongdoing from nothing other than an innocent email conversation for "thoughtcrime".

Comments

  1. I also closed my Facebook account about two years ago. I found it overwhelming (waaayyy too much input) and generally trivial.

    The privacy issues have long been a nagging worry as I am not keen on having Facebook (or Google, etc) know that much about me, but when it comes to government surveillance, I fear that FB is but one rat to the pack. Still, the fact that there's one less online source of data about me IS a nice perk.

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    1. Yeah, they'll find a way to get your information, somehow. There's no way around this. But one might as well minimise one's exposure to pointless exercises in solipsistic navel-gazing like Facebook anyway. I'd say getting rid of LinkedIn would also be useful, although I do find LinkedIn to be at least moderately helpful in terms of keeping track of people I know via professional networks.

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