Thursday, June 6, 2013

Big Data and Democracy

While it is still early, one might assume that the story about collecting big data from Verizon, Google and the what like will have some legs this summer, especially when connected to the IRS's looking at groups on the far right. A few posts ago I posted one idea for my first week of government (which is even funny to think about since my year isn't over until June 20th).  It is a look at the different facets of  a democracy.  But now one can use this story (and the video above) to connect in our courts, big data (looking for patterns in a large swath of data) and circumventing the fourth amendment.   If I use this one, 1) the first question I will ask is if it snares a would be terrorist - or even one that has committed a crime, is it okay to tap into our personal data. 2) is it okay if the US government wasn't listening to conversation, but only looking for patterns in the calls and you are safer as a result. 3) where do we draw the line in a democracy to protect the citizens and rounding back to the definition of democracy above.  4) What about protecting our students in our schools and using the many free Internet sites that are so useful to class, but either require login/password or put cookies in our laptops?

Below is Obama's response to the negative press including his asking my question about how much freedom one has to give up to be protected (at 5:50). 

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