Will NSA spying make the sheeple leave the embrace of the big 'Net companies? I doubt it.

An article by security expert Bruce Schneier in The Atlantic paints a grim picture of the consequences of Internet monitoring by the government but what do the sheeple want?

A couple of days ago The Atlantic published an article by security expert Bruce Schneier titled The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet which argued that technology companies such a Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, etc., have to fight for their users' privacy from monitoring by the NSA and other government agencies or they'll eventually lose the users' trust.

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others are pleading with the government to allow them to explain details of what information they provided in response to National Security Letters and other government demands. They've lost the trust of their customers, and explaining what they do -- and don't do -- is how to get it back. The government has refused; they don't care.

I think Bruce is somewhat wrong. While users will be losing what little trust they might still have in those companies that won't change their relationships with the companies. In the grand scheme of things the percentage of users who actually understand and care about privacy issues is a small subset of the total user population.

So, while some of the more informed and rationally paranoid users will go out of their way to avoid using the services of companies they believe don't have their interests at heart, they're going to be a tiny fraction and most users (the sheeple) will carry on enjoying their free services they get and they'll become progressively less concerned about losing their privacy and having their rights violated. They'll keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

As a consultant I knew used to say: "If they weren't sheep they wouldn't get shorn."

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10