In NSA: The Decision Problem George Dyson lays out a credible historical view on why he thinks what Snowden revealed about the NSA and PRISM was inevitable. While it’s certainly a pleasure to read a discussion of these issues that is so thoughtful, I think he misses one major theme that helps us understand our current predicament over what to do about Snowden.
At issue is whether the public will have the tools, skills, wherewithal, and resources to locate, understand, and make use of the data. If not, the division between the “haves” and “have nots” will be exacerbated, no matter how many data files are offered for download.
In simpler times, elections settled things. You voted for a candidate. If that candidate lost you gritted your teeth and waited for the next election. In between elections you wrote letters and contributed money to your party. Maybe you even went door to door or made phone calls.