May 8, 2007

I ALWAYS HEARD THAT JOHN ASHCROFT WAS THE BIG THREAT TO PRIVACY, but now it looks as if the real threat may come from newspapers:

Barely a year after their reporters won a Pulitzer prize for exposing data mining of ordinary citizens by a government spy agency, New York Times officials had some exciting news for stockholders last week: The Times company plans to do its own data mining of ordinary citizens, in the name of online profits. . . .

Wasn’t that the nefarious, 21st-century sort of snooping that the National Security Agency was doing without warrants on American citizens? Wasn’t that the whole subject of the prizewinning work in December 2005 by Times reporters Eric Lichtblau and James Risen?

And hadn’t the company’s chairman and publisher, Pinch Sulzberger, already trotted out Pulitzers earlier in the program?

Yes, yes, and yes. But Robinson was talking about money this time.

Oh, well, then. So long as it’s not about national security. (Via BOTW).

Meanwhile, some advice from Don Surber, though it’s specifically aimed at the Tennessean, which raised its own privacy concerns today: “The press is supposed to be the watchdog of the government, not a watchdog of the people.”

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