The physical Internet and the NSA: discussion

Hello everyone! We (Chloe, Kerry, Jacob & Elle) are your discussion leaders this week and we will be focusing on data centers particularly pertaining to the NSA, along with Edward Snowden. We have attached an article and a video we would like you to check out before class along with some questions to think about.

The article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/10/15/the-nsas-giant-utah-data-center-will-probably-hold-a-bunch-of-spam/

and the video:

Questions to think about:

1. As many other nations deal with issues of security vs. individual rights, the NSA and the eavesdropping issue at hand seems to highlight these issues within the United States. With the degree that the eavesdropping has gotten to, do you feel personally impacted or offended by the events or are you willing to sacrifice your privacy for protection?

2. With the massive amount of space that our data centers already take up, who will be responsible for what is taken up by the information that ultimately becomes useless for the NSA? When it comes down to it, will the NSA’s collection of information take priority over the technology and data that America’s population is actually interested in?

3. If a single google search releases on average .2 and 7 grams of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is it ethical for people to be searching, streaming and storing anything they want online? Besides pollution, what other hidden costs are there associated with mass data storage?

4. Do you think it is right for Snowden to stand up to the US Government? Is this a malicious act against the United States or an attempt to democratize the nation?

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