Expect Less Privacy, Intelligence Official Says

Battle for anonymity can't be won in the Internet age, Kerr argues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2007 3:40 PM CST
Donald Kerr testifies at Capitol Hill in this Aug. 1, 2007, file photo. Kerr, the deputy director of national intelligence, said it's time Americans changed their definition of privacy as Congress takes...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Americans need to redefine their idea of privacy, Deputy Director of National Intelligence Donald Kerr said today, as Congress reviewed an August FISA revision that allows warrantless eavesdropping. “Protecting anonymity isn't a fight that can be won,” Kerr says, arguing that, after giving information away on MySpace, or to “some green-card holder at an ISP,” people shouldn’t worry about government surveillance.

Instead, Kerr says, privacy should now mean that governments and businesses properly protect private information. One privacy advocate said Kerr is missing the point and ignoring the law. “It’s just another ‘trust us, we’re the government,’” he said, arguing that there is a fundamental difference between voluntarily revealing information to private parties and having it intercepted by the government.