Cheap hard drives might be great for data hogs (and pirates), but UCLA professor John Villasenor warns in a Brookings Institute report entitled "Recording Everything: Digital Storage as an Enabler of Authoritative Governments" that cheap storage makes it much easier for governments to create an archive of every citizen's activities. Noting that the price per gigabyte of hard drives has dropped tenfold every four years since 1980, Villasenor says that by 2015 it will cost about two cents to store all of the phone calls made by a person in a year. The fear is that governments in countries with lax privacy controls would be able to build enormous archives of locations, phone calls, and video surveillance in order to monitor and suppress the population.

Banksy stencil, Image Credit: rp72 (Flickr)