Even primitive humans left data trails in the form of footsteps, campfires, and arrowheads. But in the digital age, we are constantly generating data. Search engines and advertisers tap it. So does the National Security Agency. Convenience and security are the upside. Loss of privacy is the downside.
A look at where some people are coming from.
It's not possible to stop a Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden. They reflect society's push for individualism, suspicion of authority, and digital transparency. Instead, the NSA, FBI, and others must embrace openness, and face greater oversight.