NPR's On The Media

Can I get some privacy?

Here's NPR HQ's in Washington, DC that I saw over spring break!

I found the topic of transparency grenades extremely interesting on this On the Media podcast. An artist created an actual “grenade” that is transparent that represents the ability that the Internet has to pull information from every click of the mouse we make online. Transparency grenades are when bits of audio and information are taken from wireless devices and blasted all over the Internet. This is even bigger than Google picking up our searched terms or what we email about on Gmail. The transparency grenade is scarier since it can tap into your private wireless router. I don’t see a huge problem with Google accessing our searched items or Facebook tracking exactly what we “like”. We are using their websites, so in turn they are tracking what we do on the sites that are theirs. I know some would disagree, but I don’t see a problem with this. What I have a problem with is the ability that the transparency grenade has to access our homes’ private wireless routers.

On NPR, the man explaining this concept was asked if password protecting wireless devices guards us from the grenade. The man from the podcast joked that the only way that a conversation is guaranteed private is if we park our cars, leave the Blackberries and IPhones inside and go deep into the woods and discuss. That’s a scary thought, but maybe it’s true. We are all easier and easier to track because of a variety of technological advances. I am still trying to sort out my own opinions about what I feel is okay to be taken from my happenings on the Internet, but I’m pretty sure that actual sound clips or pieces of text from an outside “grenade” is going a bit too far.

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