Who Threatens Our Privacy?

The whole Snowden affair has receded into the background by now. But recently Michael Cohen made an important point that seemed to get totally lost in the discussion about privacy.

This week, the group Wikileaks posted on its website the entire archive of data and information stolen from Sony Pictures last fall — and it seems every day there’s a new, earth-shattering scoop…

I needed only 20 minutes on the Wikileaks site to find a credit card number, medical information, private e-mail addresses, salary data, and plenty else that most people wouldn’t want available on a searchable database.

This kind of cyberattack is a greater threat to people’s privacy than anything revealed in the Snowden/NSA leaks, which became a cause celebre for some of the same people chortling over the Sony leaks…

Today, it is harder and harder to stay outside the omnipresent eye of social media, surveillance cameras, and smartphone videos. Wikileaks is only adding to the onslaught on our privacy rights — surreally, in the name of transparency.

I always found it interesting that many of those who were most closely involved with the Snowden leaks (including Wikileaks) have pretty deep ties to the hacker community – people whose raison d’etre is to invade privacy. From their reaction to this inquiry from Cohen, it appears that only certain people’s privacy is important to them.

It’s true that the concerns raised by the leaks about NSA are worrisome in regards to the possibility that the government might have access to private information. But the prospects of everyone else having access is equally (if not more) concerning.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .