Jay Cline is a well-respected expert in privacy, and in case you missed until now, as I had – has written a great summation of the Eric Snowden saga.
Be sure to check out Jay Cline: What will Snowden leak next? over at ComputerWorld, when you get a chance.
At one point Jay notes:
Snowden’s staged disclosures have demonstrated a good understanding of the short attention span of the American public and correspondingly short American news cycle.
Boy, ain’t that the truth! I remember I was travelling this summer as some of these Snowden disclosures occurred, and as the news media cranked out their coverage. I had this sense that what was happening was much bigger and more serious that it even sounded at the time.
But with the many pre-occupations I (and apparently all Americans) have, in combination with the lack of any direct impact or harm, like any other spike of sensationalism, the story has kind of faded.
Jay makes interesting predictions about what may be next, and it is seemingly time for that. One of Jay’s predictions is that Snowden will disclose files and information that demonstrate discrete harm to Americans as data subjects. On this he says:
Snowden’s case so far is only hitting things at the program level. He hasn’t yet shown how a single named American has been harmed. Without showing how any group of Americans, such as libertarians or Muslims, is being targeted, it’s less likely an advocacy group will form to press for legislative reforms. This is why I think he’s buried this card toward the bottom of the files.
Actual harm to individuals as Data Subjects is an interesting privacy issue on its’ own – one that we’ll cover in the coming days.
For now, I’m waiting, like everyone else – and will look forward to Jay Cline 201 level course on the Snowden saga.