Book Report: Permanent Record

Permanent Record Cover

I bought the hardcover version of this book with cash rather than the Kindle version, because you know… the government. Didn’t want them to know I was reading it.

I’m kidding of course (about the reasoning, I did buy the hardcover.) But my opinion on this subject has changed quite a bit as I’ve thought about it over the past few months. At first I was disgusted by what the government was doing, but now I’m not so sure. Although government overreach is a problem that needs to be kept in check, I believe that people go a bit too far with their expectations of privacy. As long as you’re a living, breathing human, you’ll never have 100% privacy for anything unless you don’t use technology, don’t live in a community, don’t have family or friends, don’t make any noise, don’t talk to anyone, and don’t buy anything. Why should we expect the same on the internet?

I might be venturing into controversial opinions here, and I want to state that I don’t endorse governmental spying without reason—I enjoy my privacy just as much as the next person—but at the same time, the world is full of corruption, hackers, terrorists, and people who are looking to harm you. Society would be chaos without governmental protection, both physical and virtual, and I believe the US had good intentions when setting up these wire-tapping programs. They just went too far with it after they went unchecked for so long.

Internet privacy is a delicate balance that needs to be struck. With the technology being so new, we haven’t had time to find that balance yet—but it shouldn’t be an extreme on either side. Our country will get torn apart in cyber space if left to fend for ourselves, so we need to give the government some leniency to protect us. As long as we’re aware of the bargain we’re making, and it’s not being swept under the rug.

If you want to play with all the new toys and be safe, you pay the price of admission.

Buy it on Amazon

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