The last refuge of privacy cannot be placed solely in law or technology. It must repose in both, and a thoughtful combination of the two can help us thread a path between having all our secrets trivially discoverable and preserving nothing for our later selves for fear of that discovery.
Enterprising law-enforcement officers with a warrant can flick a distant switch and turn a standard mobile phone into a roving mic or eavesdrop on occupants of cars equipped with travel assistance systems.
The Internet's distinct configuration may have facilitated anonymous threats, copyright infringement, and cyberattacks, but it has also kindled the flame of freedom in ways that the framers of the American constitution would appreciate - the Federalist papers were famously authored pseudonymously.
When I worry about privacy, I worry about peer-to-peer invasion of privacy. About the fact that anytime anything of any note happens, there are three arms holding cell phones with cameras in them or video records capturing the event ready to go on the nightly news, if necessary.
Thanks in part to the Patriot Act, the federal government has been able to demand some details of your online activities from service providers - and not to tell you about it.
Despite outsiders being invited to write software, the iPhone thus remains tightly tethered to its vendor - the way that the Kindle is controlled by Amazon.
TV broadcasting is owned, in the sense that governments around the world have asserted power over the airwaves that permeate their territories, deciding who can use what bandwidth and why - and those with licenses then, with exceptions determined by regulators, decide what to broadcast.
I think social networking is absolutely here to stay. Now, whether or not the label will Facebook forever, depends in part, I think, on whether Facebook wants to try to be less proprietary, be more central to the operation of defining and stewarding identity online.
The openness on which Apple had built its original empire had been completely reversed - but the spirit was still there among users. Hackers vied to 'jailbreak' the iPhone, running new apps on it despite Apple's desire to keep it closed.
The Internet works thanks to loose but trusted connections among its many constituent parts, with easy entry and exit for new Internet service providers or new forms of expanding access.
The crucial legacy of the personal computer is that anyone can write code for it and give or sell that code to you - and the vendors of the PC and its operating system have no more to say about it than your phone company does about which answering machine you decide to buy.
Facebook allows outsiders to add functionality to the site but reserves the right to change that policy at any time, to charge a fee for applications, or to de-emphasize or eliminate apps that court controversy or that they simply don't like.
A free Net may depend on some wisely developed and implemented locks and a community ethos that secures the keys to those locks among groups with shared norms and a sense of public purpose rather than in the hands of one gatekeeper.
I don't know how much thought is behind it, but it seems to me highly effective the way that Facebook will let somebody tag a photo with a friend's name, then others who are a friend of that friend can perhaps immediately see the photo, and the friend, in the meantime, has a chance to wander back and un-tag it.
I'm interested in helping secure the PC - we need innovation here. It's not just hug your PC, hate the iPhone. In fact I don't even hate the iPhone; I think it's really cool. I just don't want it to be the center of the ecosystem along with the Web 2.0 apps.
How an individual's reputation is protected online is too important and subtle a policy matter to be legislated by a high court, which is institutionally mismatched to the evolving intricacies of the online world.
The problem is, we're moving to software-as-service, which can be yanked or transformed at any moment. The ability of your PC to run independent code is an important safety valve.
When I think about privacy on social media sites, there's kind of the usual suspect problems, which doesn't make them any less important or severe; it's just we kind of know their shape, and we kind of know how we're going to solve them.
With the rise of software patents, engineers coding new stuff - whether within a large software company or as kids writing smartphone apps - are exposed to a claim that somewhere a prior patent is being infringed.
The increasing legal pressure against archives has created anxieties among researchers, librarians, and journalists. They cite the need to protect sources who wish to make a record for posterity; procuring documents and interviews from those sources will be difficult if the fruits are only one subpoena away from disclosure.