simply put, this refers to the mining of info. but it is much more complex than its definition.
these days, data mining is making headlines. recently, edward snowden announced that he didn’t want to live in a society that does ‘these’ things and gave this interview from china : http://m.guardiannews.com/world/video/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-interview-video.
snowden is a 29 yr old infrastructure analyst in hawaii who works for NSA [national surveillance agency].
what are ‘these’ things he refers to? ‘these’ things, according to snowden, are what NSA has kept from us, which he deems ‘disturbing’ and ‘abusive’; a ‘wrongdoing’ which he wants the public to judge themselves as ‘wrong’, and not him. he’s just the agent between the public and NSA, which gets intelligence from anywhere [read everywhere!].
but our telephone calls are not private either. they can be subpoenaed in court; and texts as well. that only proves that all info is recoverable! and not just by AT&T, verizon or tmobile!
but what snowden is saying should NOT be news to us. everyone’s info is targeted, analysed then stored. and this has been the case for many years. when someone sends a nude photo or sext message or text with abusive language or catch words and conversation stoppers like terrorist, al Qaeda, bombs, guns etc that info raises a red flag immediately. and stored for future usage. those who plan terrorist acts can be picked up as a result, not because intelligence just guesses. in fact, intelligence can be dumb without this technological help from internet etc.
giant internet companies have forever been targeting us: when we search for something, it is not over when we stop our search or log off. it doesn’t stop there when the computer is asleep or turned off, though i wish it would sometimes. the next time we log on, screens come up with the the same or similar items which we searched previously. what does that say if not that says BIG Brother is watching us?
even before the term ‘telephony data’ became coined, this lack of privacy by phone or internet existed. now that we have a term for it, we object. perhaps we didn’t know how to object to it since it was sorta nameless? perhaps we needed it to blow up like it is now before we could object to ‘it’?
but, despite the data hoarding and safety checking, the world trade center still blew up, which proves that nothing’s fool-proof! USA was able to get leads on who did it and even get rid of the source [osama bin laden] because they had an enormous amount of data and info, which they’d been monitoring for years, but couldn’t stop the attack. perhaps these surveillance methods can say what’s going on, but cannot prevent what comes next for sure.
still, there’s an obsessive war against those who leak info like snowden or assange especially to reporters via emails, phone records and tweets etc. so be careful because big brother is watching you, too: what you send, show, write and soon….what you think.