"We're probably living in a golden age;" people in the future, to us, "will be a slave civilization," said Lauren Weinstein, the creator of the PRIVACY Forum. Weinstein warned of the increasing erosion of privacy rights fueled by new technological developments and the post 9-11 climate.
By themselves, the individual technologies that collect or transmit personal information such as tracking chips are "bad enough on their own," Weinstein said. But what he is really concerned about are the "meta-technologies" that tie all the smaller ones into "a massive system that could be quite suffocating in the end." While he said he has "a warm spot in his heart" for DARPA, the agency that created the predecessor of the Internet, he said their "Dr. Strangelove" tendencies with programs like T.I.A. (Total Information Awareness) could be approaching such a meta-technology.
"The most powerful ally to those who would abuse these technologies is complacency," Weinstein pointed out. To fight against this, he advocated contacting companies involved in the use of these technologies, as well as politicians, to make your voice heard.
Bumper music from Wednesday July 09, 2003