Tina Brown compared bloggers to the East German secret police in Sunday's Washington Post:
We are in the Eggshell Era, in which everyone has to tiptoe around because there's a world of busybodies out there who are being paid to catch you out -- and a public that is slowly being trained to accept a culture of finks. We're always under surveillance; cameras watch us wherever we go; paparazzi make small fortunes snapping glamour goddesses picking their noses; everything is on tape, with transcripts available. No matter who you are, someone is ready and willing to rat you out. Even the rats themselves have to look over their shoulders, because some smaller rat is always waiting in the wings. Bloggers are the new Stasi. All the timidity this engenders, all this watching your mouth has started to feel positively un-American.
I'm going to report her for this.
The only time I see people (other than historians) use "Stasi" is when they're trying to sidestep "Godwin's Law".
To paraphrase Linus Torvalds, given enough eyeballs, all thugs are callow.
That is sick. I'm not sure why the Washington Post published that.
I think its a poor way of describing the blogger phenomenon.
The Stasi was a "civilian network of informants" - which bloggers are.
"The Stasi monitored politically "incorrect" behavior among all citizens" - well we also report all the good and great things that go on as well, so this isn't true.
"The remaining files are available for review to all people who were reported upon, often revealing that friends, colleagues, husbands, wives, and other family members were regularly filing reports with the Stasi." - I guess that'd be all the people reporting their employers.
Its a very very harsh way to describe bloggers and it doesn't define us at all. Stasi can define a lot of organisations then, like banks, credit check companies, etc ...
I know east-berlin very very well, and I can tell you that the citizens definately know about the Stasi and would strongly disagree with this, and maybe even feel offended.