On July 2, social media service Twitter released its first ever “Transparency Report” revealing the alarming number of requests it has received from the government of the United States to delete tweets and disclose information about its users.
The report covers activity from January 1, 2012 to the end of June, and although brief, it contains irrefutable evidence of the government’s sustained effort to monitor the online activity of citizens of this nation. A fair reading of the report indicates that officials of the federal government are becoming increasingly interested in Twitter and in what is said there and who says it.
Adding to its revolutionary navigation service, Google is planning to release a new version of the Google Maps program, offering users a 3D aerial-mapping technology that provides details capable of showing objects just four inches wide. But as U.S. technology companies race to produce aerial maps with greater detail and visibility, critics are posing privacy concerns and warning that America is quickly becoming a surveillance society.
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is expected to save hundreds of millions of dollars or more on his tax liabilities after becoming one of the more high-profile individuals to renounce U.S. citizenship in recent years. The Brazilian-born multi-billionaire now lives in Singapore, where the government does not impose capital-gains taxes or take a cut of income earned abroad.
With social-networking giant Facebook ready to launch an initial public offering (IPO) of its stock, analysts have estimated that the company could be worth as much as $100 billion. That means Saverin, who owns about four or five percent of the company, might be sitting on billions of dollars’ worth of assets — a figure that almost certainly would get the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the big-spending U.S. government frothing at the mouth.
The U.S. government is developing implantable sensor microchips for use in American troops, supposedly to monitor their health on the battlefield, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced earlier this year seeking proposals. But critics of the scheme are speaking out, warning that the new technology could just be a prelude to expanding the use of related devices among the general population — with dangerous implications for freedom and privacy.
Supposedly on Americans’ behalf, the U.S. government is employing new hardware, such as supercomputers, monitoring systems, and laws to literally and figuratively lay us bare at will. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” is being undermined by the new surveillance state.