Why Should Our Communities Care about Internet Privacy?

On April 18th, 2012, the FBI seized servers from a colocation facility shared by Riseup Networks and May First/People Link (MFPL) in NYC. The seized server was operated by the ECN, the oldest independent internet service provider in Europe, who among many other things, provided an anonymous remailer service, Mixmaster, that was the target of an FBI investigation into the bomb threats against the University of Pittsburgh. In March, Google launched it's new new privacy policy, that would allow them to consolidate users' data across all different platforms and services, claiming that it will improve the Internet user's experience. Last September, Facebook made a significant to its privacy policy wiping out the word "privacy" and rebranding it as a "data use" policy. These changes give Facebook more power to track billions of users on the web. In December 2011, Facebook users spent more than 9.7 billion minutes per day on Facebook on personal computers. Moreover, the mobile Facebook application is one of the most downloaded applications on all smartphones. This is a vital issue that affects all of us who use and rely on the Internet to organize, to find a job, to apply for college, and for civil engagement.