GizmoRay

Government & NSA Tracking Your Every Move — Updated

Jun 6th, 2013

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In semi-breaking news today the government, to nobody’s surprise, is watching your every move. Verizon, on June 5th started a storm of accusations against the NSA, claiming that over the past several months, they’ve been sharing their users’ information with the aforementioned government agency. Adding to the mess of accusations, other companies have come out to support Verizon’s claims, including Facebook (obviously the most surprising, with their spectacular privacy policies), AT&T, Sprint, Google, Apple, Microsoft, as well as several others. However, the companies have specified that they have not allowed any government agencies direct access to their servers.

The above companies have admitted to freely giving the NSA access to personal information, in a blanket security clause that was thrown at them. The program, known as PRISM, has only now surfaced from the deep and murky depths of inconspicuousness. The program was launched from a previous program, founded by the former US president George W. Bush, that warrantlessly surveilled various companies and individuals.

The program was speedily and secretly hustled through the court system, claiming that it focused on foreign communications traffic, in an effort to protect national security and help fight espionage and terrorism. At the time of writing, the White House is declining to comment on the situation.

Update: Several of the aforementioned entities have come out to say that they have not participated in the program, however, most using common vernacular, such as “no direct server access” to avoid directly answering the question. The commonalities between the statements leads many to believe that the companies built special back-doors for the various agencies to work in. Google, however, has come out as directly opposing any cooperation with the act, despite initial reports of its involvement. The story is progressing, and this post will be updated as needed.

Opinion:

One of the many side-effects of an increasingly online population, is that privacy is becoming increasingly rare. Simply Googling most any random person’s name, can render thousands of results about them (place of birth, age, address, etc). Due to all of this, I find myself caring less and less about my privacy, whether that’s giving my real name to thousands of people on the internet, or having the government read my Facebook status updates, and text messages. In the grand-scheme of things, it doesn’t affect my life if they know I’m constantly looking up kitten images.

While the actual program itself doesn’t necessarily bother me, I am extremely perturbed by the fact that the companies in which we intrust our information, have responded with such a lack of integrity and straightforwardness. Many duplicitously denying the fact that they allowed the government access, meaning that the agencies had no “direct server access”, instead they had their very own custom portal in-which they could peruse the data of any given company. I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter, feel free to drop a line below.

 

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Source: Washington Post