The NSA is no angel but are they really “setting fire to Internet”, as Edward Snowden states? That may sound a bit too much but we have it from the horse’s
The spy agencies of the U.S. are actually succeeding in missing the forest for the trees. Their preoccupation with mass surveillance has resulted in their completely missing clues about incidents like the failed jetliner attack during 2009 Christmas or Boston marathon bombing.
Snowden, who is lying low in Russia in an undisclosed location, says that the NSA’s obsession with collection of bulk information has backfired.
Speaking at the South by Southwest Integrative Festival from a remote place, Snowden said that much harm has been done to Internet and national security by the current director Keith Alexander and the former NSA director Michael Haydon.
Of the billions of communications between billions of people, NSA does not monitor particular communications that could be potentially harmful. By its very nature, such a broad-based monitoring will have to miss out on vital clues to terrorist activities.
Snowden is not your run-of-the mill disclosure of official secrets. His disclosures have triggered a worldwide debate on surveillance that governments carry out. The US had been forced to be more transparent on its supposedly classified programs.
Senior US officials, as is only to be expected, had been very critical of Snowden’s leaks and
contend that Snowden had put national security at risk but technologists and advocates of privacy differ in their view. They are of the opinion that that tech companies will now have to make systems more formidable but less prone to security risks.
Elaborate precautions were taken to mask the location of Snowden’s place of refuge by using a Google program that went through seven servers.
Snowden insisted that technologists develop encryption that is easy to use in a seamless way. He said that it was encryption that protected the information he got from the NSA. It was encryption that provided security for the information that Snowden siphoned off. The NSA people have no clue of which documents were given away to journalists by Snowden. Snowden, however, has said that he had not given the information he took with him to the Russian or Chinese governments.
NSA director Gen Keith B Alexander detests the press labeling intelligence agencies villains. It is unfair to label them thus when all they are doing is to protect the country, is what he says.
The Washington Post had carried a report last October which said that NSA had penetrated the Google and Yahoo data centers and their overseas links. The two companies had to take remedial measures immediately. They started encryption of links. Yahoo even would apply encryption by default on even small corporate websites like that of ColchinAutomotive. Mass surveillance will become difficult to be carried out if hardware and network are encrypted, says Snowden.
The goal is not really to blind the government surveillance as a whole. The terrorists will still be able to be segregated but the innocent people will be mostly left alone.
Jenny Corteza works as an online reputation management consultant for many brands’ online branding. She is a major in English and has a certification and advertising and branding. Her work experience and brand association speaks for her skills.