MSNBC has a pretty good little article by Steven Levy about Google. What struck me was this quote about how Google has made supersleuths of all of us:
By empowering the masses to make use of the multi-terabit glory of the Web, Google has made supersleuths of us all. Privacy advocates are going crazy at the Pentagon's plan to track citizens' purchases, Web-site visits and phone calls. But as my search for the eBay seller indicates, with Google everybody is Big Brother.
This is exactly the point that David Brin makes in The Transparent Society. Technology has the power to give us all clarity with respect to what's going on in the world. Anything we want to know about we can. The danger is not that technology gives us that ability, but when we try to restrict the information flows. Its a lot less worrisome, to me, if the Pentagon can do all those things as long as I can do them too. If we're all the watchers then the question of who watches the watchers is moot. We all do.