Slashdot is in an uproar over the demise of Groklaw, a (formerly) amazing web site trying to analyze complex legal issues for a geeky audience. It is on Groklaw that we followed the SCO v. UNIX trials, the Microsoft monopoly trials, etc. For a nerd, losing Groklaw is terrible, like losing your Wikipedia for questions of the law.

Groklaw, on the other hand, died of its own volition. Pamela Jones, the founder and maintainer, wrote a post about why she felt she had to shut down, and blamed government intrusion. She was following the hint of Lavabit, the secure email provider formerly used by Edward Snowden, who shut down rather than comply with a surveillance order.

At the same time as the geek world is spooked by these revelations, we hear the political caste talking about NSA surveillance in glowing tones, as a patriotic duty and a first-grade technical accomplishment of the NSA. I say, political caste, because both parties are in full agreement on this.

I think there is a fundamental disagreement between most if not many geeks and the political establishment. This disagreement revolves around trust: geeks fear what can be done with the data collected; the political establishment is mesmerized by the possibilities. I believe both are correct.

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