I get what you mean, and you're right. These hearings to Google and Facebook are a waste of time, as of the current moment.
I don't know how these Congress hearings works in USA but I think — and excuse me here in advance if I'm about to say a lot of bs — their goal is to gather information about a specific topic or issue so they can proceed to think about regulating it and how to do so effectively.
I'm pretty cinic, so I feel like politicians need to make a good figure with their voters. So they speak a language that their voters can understand, at least in this phase. I hope that when they'll arrive at the policymaking part they'll consult experts and not their nephews.
I feel like you could have misunderstood me (and I apologise for that if so) because I was talking specifically about the hearing itself and the sometimes-stupid questions.
Do not mix companies like Google with government surveillance, please, these are two different topics (even if in some cases they use basically same technology). In case of Google, Facebook etc. you can opt out (although it is not easy path), in case of government surveillance you could only set different strategy - use technologies which provides you with privacy by design (as Tor) etc. In summary they are 2 different threat models.
Also I would't mix FBI with NSA; they have different measures, different scopes of interest and (of course) different budgets. I would say that globally (from the US context), NSA and CIA are the most offensive ones. You will not probably deal with the FBI surveillance / offensive intel if you're not targeted.
not mixing anything, I replied to the part about Google hearings
Ok, sorry, I was probably wrongly interpreted your post.
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