Last week, Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote an error-laden piece for the Wall Street Journal in which he claimed that "Encrypted devices block law enforcement from collecting evidence. Period." As if the only item in the law enforcement tool box is ubiquitous surveillance, and without it no evidence can be collected.
A non-profit organization dedicated to exposing threats to digital liberties and preserving those liberties has accused Google of spying on students via the use of Chromebooks in schools. In violation of an agreement Google signed in January forbidding the harvesting of student data, it has done exactly that "for its own purposes," according to a complaint the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed with the FTC.
Windows 10 seems to be Microsoft's deliberate attempt to create the most intrusive operating system ever. If that is the goal, the software giant from Redmond, Washington, is succeeding. It seems that every new update brings the newest iteration of Windows closer and closer to giving Microsoft total control over the way users can operate their own computers. The most recent update makes that abundantly clear.
Unsurprisingly, in the wake of last week's deadly attacks in Paris, there has been an escalating demand — by those always in favor of such things — for an increase in surveillance. There has also been a call for limitations to technology that permits encrypted communications. The surveillance hawks seem to believe that liberty and security cannot coexist. Given the choice, they opt for sacrificing liberty for the sake of security.
When Net Neutrality was sold to the American people, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler promised there would be no regulation of content. No censorship. The rules would allow the FCC to regulate content, but they would "forbear" and leave things alone. Now where have we heard that before? It sounds too much like, "If you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet." Now, like with Obamacare, the truth is coming forward as lawmakers and experts warn of a coming political censorship of the Internet.