One of the facts of life in today’s America, and in most other even somewhat developed countries, is that people of all ages are addicted to their smartphones. Nearly everyone except the very young and very old spend a high percentage of their waking moments looking into a screen. While there’s no doubt that smartphones have made our lives much more connected and interesting, there’s a considerable downside too. And I don’t just mean the rising casualty count among those too distracted by technology to notice oncoming vehicles.
Neither do I mean the fact, only recently noticed by millions of Americans, that your smartphone is a device to spy on you, the user, in exchange for which you get calling, texting, and access to the Internet wherever you go. If you’re unwise enough to use Facebook—and, let’s face it, you probably are, since more than 200 million Americans do—all that data, generated by you and about you and your every waking moment, is being collected and sold for handsome profits, none of which go to you.
The worst threat posed by smartphones, however, is the easy access they give to bad guys who want to spy on you for reasons more nefarious than mere rent-seeking. Although this threat doesn’t apply to most Americans, it applies acutely to our elites. If you’re a VIP, especially in politics, you are inherently of interest to dozens of intelligence services worldwide, most of which have a presence, under diplomatic cover, in New York and Washington, D.C., at a minimum.
Read the rest at The Observer …