Wish you all a wonderful 2014. As we enter 2014, this blog reaches another milestone — its 10th year of existence. What started in Dec 2004 as a very casual experiment has become one of my important creations. In this post, I would like to cover surveillance state.

It has become common knowledge now that the government uses a variety of constitutional and unconstitutional methods to perform what is famously called “wholesale surveillance”. Wholesale surveillance, for starters, means law-enforcement and/or intelligence agencies now can collect any and all information pertaining to anyone and everyone. To contrast, the other way to do it would be to collect specific information from targeted individuals or groups of individuals.

Simple transactions such as using Facebook, using maps and something as simple as carrying a cell phone can be enough for the state to collect more information about you than you ever fathomed.

People outraged by NSA’s measures have usually responded in one of the 3 ways. The first type are outraged, but soon quiet down with the “I don’t have anything to hide, let them collect what they want about me” response. Second one — Privacy advocates have reduced this issue to the constitutionality of NSA’s efforts. Third one — Liberals are unhappy about NSA’s efforts, but usually for them, ideology is the end in itself.

The one question that, in my observation, few people have asked, and in fact, everyone should be asking is this — what does it cost? How does it benefit? Does it make for a positive business case?

Yes, it is possible to put a price on security. Not just a $$ price — but in lost privacy, lost opportunities, lost convenience, lost trust etc…

I came across this paper and this book, the paper that I recommend and the book that I am adding to my reading list.