Home
http://www.faz.net/-hur-7bguu
HERAUSGEGEBEN VON WERNER D'INKA, BERTHOLD KOHLER, GÜNTHER NONNENMACHER, HOLGER STELTZNER

Information Consumerism The Price of Hypocrisy

Even the best laws will not lead to a safer internet. We need a sharper picture of the information apocalypse that awaits us in a world where personal data is traded to avert the catastrophy.

© Hackerphotos.com / Win McNamee Vergrößern Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde? The military and the IT sphere already affiliated, as you may see in the person of one of the most powerful men of the world: Keith Alexander, Director of the NSA, recruiting hackers at Defcon 2012, wearing a t-shirt of the civil rights organisation „Electronic Frontier Foundation“; in service uniform on the right

The problem with the sick, obsessive superpower revealed to us by Edward Snowden is that it cannot bring itself to utter the one line it absolutely must utter before it can move on: “My name is America and I’m a dataholic.” For American spies, Big Data is like crack cocaine: just a few doses – and you can forget about mending your way and kicking the habit. Yes, there’s an initial illusion of grandeur and narcissistic omnipotence – just look at us, we could prevent another 9/11! – but a clearer, unmediated brain would surely notice that one’s judgment has been severely impaired. Prevent another 9/11? When two kids with extensive presence on social media can blow up a marathon in Boston? Really? All this data, all this sacrifice– and for what?

So let us not pass over America’s surveillance addiction in silence. It is real; it has consequences; and the world would do itself a service by sending America to a Big Data rehab. But there’s more to learn from the Snowden affair. It has also busted a number of myths that are only peripherally related to surveillance: myths about the supposed benefits of decentralized and commercially-operated digital infrastructure, about the current state of technologically-mediated geopolitics, about the existence of a separate realm known as “cyberspace.” We must take stock of where we are and reflect on where we soon will be, especially if we fail to confront – legally but, even more importantly, intellectually – the many temptations of information consumerism.

Why surrender control over electronic communications?

First of all, many Europeans are finally grasping, to their great dismay, that the word “cloud” in “cloud computing” is just a euphemism for “some dark bunker in Idaho or Utah.” Borges, had he lived long enough, would certainly choose a server rack – not a library – as the primary site for his surreal stories. A database larger than the world it is meant to represent: a Borges short story or a slide from an NSA PowerPoint? One can’t say for sure.

Second, ideas that once looked silly suddenly look wise. Just a few months ago, it was customary to make fun of Iranians, Russians and Chinese who, with their automatic distrust of all things American, spoke the bizarre language of “information sovereignty.” What, the Iranians want to build their own national email system to lessen their dependence on Silicon Valley? That prospect seemed both futile and wrong-headed to many Europeans: what a silly waste of resources! How could it possibly compete with Gmail, with its trendy video chats and slick design? Haven’t Europeans tried – and failed – to launch their own search engine? Building airplanes that can compete with Boeing is one thing – but an email system? Now, that’s something Europe – let alone Iran! – would never be able to pull off.

Look who’s laughing now: Iran’s national email system launched a few weeks ago. Granted the Iranians want their own national email system, in part, so that they can shut it down during protests and spy on their own people AT other times. Still, they got the geopolitics exactly right: over-reliance on foreign communications infrastructure is no way to boost one’s sovereignty. If you wouldn’t want another nation to run your postal system, why surrender control over electronic communications?

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 Nächste Seite   |  Artikel auf einer Seite
 
 ()
   Permalink
 
 
 

Hier können Sie die Rechte an diesem Artikel erwerben

Weitere Empfehlungen
Russia and Ukraine While Stalin was Hitler’s Ally

As Vladimir Putin revives the tradition of wars of aggression on European territory, the Russian past has be adjusted - in speaking of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as good foreign policy. Mehr Von Timothy Snyder

15.12.2014, 16:55 Uhr | Politik
Weltpremiere Band Aid Thirty - deutsche Version

Bob Geldofs Charity-Klassiker "Do they know it's Christmas?" nach 30 Jahren in einem neuen Gewand. Mehr

21.11.2014, 22:22 Uhr | Gesellschaft
Die Wolken von Sils Maria Im Nebel sieht man die Seele klar

Bei Olivier Assayas verhüllen Die Wolken von Sils Maria die Kinokämpfe einer wütenden Künstlerin: Über die manchmal statische Handlung hilft Kristen Stewart hinweg, in ihrer bisher stärksten Rolle. Mehr Von Dietmar Dath

18.12.2014, 17:52 Uhr | Feuilleton
Großes Staraufgebot Band Aid: Mit Weihnachts-Ohrwurm gegen Ebola

Spätestens Anfang November kann man sich ihm kaum noch entziehen: Dem Weihnachtsklassiker Do They Know It’s Christmas. Der Wohltätigkeitssong wird nun nach 30 Jahren erstmals überarbeitet und soll die Not angesichts der Ebola-Epidemie lindern. Mehr

17.11.2014, 15:35 Uhr | Gesellschaft
Schauspielerin Judy Greer Ich weiß nicht, woher Sie mich kennen

Der Name Judy Greer sagt Ihnen nichts? Da geht es Ihnen wie Millionen anderen, denn sie ist Hollywoods erste Wahl, um die beste Freundin des Stars zu spielen. Sie weiß, wie es sich anfühlt, die ewige Zweite zu sein - doch sie kennt auch die Vorteile dieser Rolle. Mehr Von Christiane Heil

16.12.2014, 12:47 Uhr | Gesellschaft
   Permalink
 Permalink

Veröffentlicht: 24.07.2013, 12:59 Uhr

Himmlische Ruhe

Von Gina Thomas

Das Jahr, in dem der Erste Weltkrieg hundert Jahre zurück liegt, neigt sich nun dem Ende zu. Das sollte man nochmals auskosten. Wie die Supermarktkette Sainsbury Werbung mit dem Mythos der Kriegsweihnacht von 1914 macht. Mehr 3 2