Friday, July 5, 2013

Germans Compare Stasi To NSA By Data Volume, Guess Who Wins?

Via boingboing:
(Make sure to click "Begin Zooming Out"


Joe said...

Awesome graphic depiction of data, this is why I love info-graphics. I almost found myself trying to dismiss it's significance by virtue of the fact that digital communications didn't exist yet, and so all records were human gathered intelligence, and business records when collected by the Stasi, but that fails to really capture what this scandal is about. The NSA has the ability to construct a profile of an individual using so many data points that they can likely know things about an individual that they themselves are yet to be aware of. We often don't have the time and experience to sit down and think about the decisions we make, our goals and aims, and what we are willing to risk and make accommodations for, but the NSA does, and they might better understand you and your contradictions better than you ever will.

AGK said...

I find it strange that so many who are older and closer to WW2 and its aftermath so readily dismiss this data collection. I mean what did "nothing to hide mean in East Germany? I guess the "it can't happen here" meme still rules the day. If some arbitrary threshold separates us from the atrocities of past police states, we are beginning to cross it. Denial is a powerful thing. Its sad to think about all the people out there who have lived through so much, accepting the truth of the moment would break them, and they know it. That's why so many refuse to even entertain such ideas. It takes strength to continue on in the face of such overwhelming adversity and horror. There are many things to be hopeful about and to dwell on instead of the daily tragedies and abuses of power, and those lovely and joyous things should be celebrated even more intensely in the face of catastrophe. But to purposefully remain in some peaceful reverie while the world burns is shameful, not idealistic. We must face the truth and let it make the bright moments even brighter while acknowledging and engaging with the darker side of our existence. We will only become stronger for it, and wield our power over history knowingly and with responsibility. Our failure to act is their permission to enslave us all.