Why are we talking about this again? Didn't we just do this? Let me repeat it again:
It doesn't matter how much data you collect.
What matters is having the eyeballs to read that data.
Apparently this simple, simple point is too hard for anybody but me to understand.
Look, if Johnny collects every streaming minutes of data on all 7 billion humans on planet Earth, and for every hour's worth of surveillance Johnny collects, it takes three hours to watch it, analyze it, research it, and decide whether it's important or not, how many staff members will Johnny have to hire just to keep up with the day?
That is correct, Johnny will have to hire three times as many people as exist right now.
But here comes summer, when thousands of Cheeto-encrusted bong rats suddenly have a lot of free time. And since there don't seem to be any new-released blockbuster video games to soak up that time this month, the next best thing for them to do for fun is scream and panic about nothing.
Who asked the US and UK governments to do this? Oh, United States and United Kingdom citizens, of course.
Remember, you wanted the government to keep you safe from the terrorists. Well, in a shocking development, it turns out that terrorists are, in fact, human beings who just up and decide to do bad stuff all on their own, without warning anybody. So to watch terrorists, they have to watch you.
Not that it does any good.
Me, I'd just as soon end all intelligence and antiterrorist programs of any government. They don't do shit. They're a black hole for money to disappear down. And the overblown danger is minuscule. The largest terrorist attack on US soil, 9/11, only scored 2,996 fatalities. In that same year, 42,196 US citizens died in..... traffic accidents. Every surveillance agent could go be a public-service designated taxi driver and save more lives, and it'd be cheaper on the budget too.
But it just isn't sexy to get worked up and worried about traffic accidents, is it?
No, it's more fun to imagine comic-book villains hatching dastardly plots against the US and UK, because they hate you for your freedom, see, and then turn around and get worked up even more because the people you told to do something about it are trying to do something about it.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where all the problems in the world come from. Quit getting your reality from comic books and watch how fast you start making better decisions at that ballot box.
Update A pretty fantastic post-mortem on the media fiasco that has been "PRISMgate" over on Daily Banter... and yes, this whole kaka-storm has made some strange bedfellows of mine. I even found myself not loathing Techcrunch for a half a minute.
But it's provided the inspiration for a satire, which it is your civic duty to spread and evangelize, citizen.