Technology: A Threat to Liberty? (The Freeman)
Thursday December 13th, 2012
Joseph Kennedy told his boys John, Robert, and Edward not to write down anything they would not want to see on the front page of the New York Times the next morning. Even if The Times may be going out of style, Joe Kennedy’s advice is not.
David Petraeus—director of the CIA and one of the most powerful men in the world—was recently undone by Gmail. Threatening e-screeds led the FBI from a Florida socialite to General David Petraeus’ biographer. Their monitoring easily connected the biographer to the CIA director. And if he was vulnerable, we certainly are.
Our real concern is not with the technology itself, but how its novel uses might make us more vulnerable. Most people can’t resist using cheap, powerful computing devices that channel nearly all the world’s information. Can we count on those people to use these tools in the service of truth, justice, and freedom?