US Monitoring Communication Over Internet? Why Such a Big Hullabaloo?
Last couple of days, offline as well as online media in India has been writing about US Government security agencies (NSA) monitoring Internet Communication channels like emails and messaging. I am personally quite surprised at this…
Did everyone think that US Government (and any other Governments, mind you) is not monitoring the communication happening on internet at large as part of their security surveillance (Guess you guys need to see more Hollywood Movies and US TV serials!)?
There is a caveat here though – I am assuming that none of the 9 internet companies named in the report (Google, AOL, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, Skype, Facebook, YouTube and PalTalk) have given them “backdoor” access.
And if some of companies them have given NSA the backdoor access, it is not US Govt. or NSA to be blamed, it HAS to be the company who is offering that backdoor. But, I do not wish to go into that debate, as I think that is not the case here.
Infact, Google’s CEO Larry Page immediately announced on their official blog that they have not provided any such access, or for that matter he had not even heard about PRISM until the report came out. Same seems to be the case with other companies, where they have categorically denied providing any special access.
So, coming back to my point – Internet is open, when someone puts any content, image, information or files out there, they have potential to be intercepted and seen, unless you take serious precautions.
Mind you, NSA is not looking for your credit cards or hacking your passwords. They cannot do that neither are they interested. They are collecting information from National Security point of view.
[box type=”shadow” ]What NSA is doing is exactly like any brand gathering intelligence from the web on what has been spoken about them either negative or positive, so that they can take certain preventive measures in cases where it could blow up. While for brands, it may be limited to Social Media and Open Web, NSA with its muscle power can go deeper to find bits of intelligence they need. You need to understand that.[/box]
Also, do you think Indian or other countries’ security agencies are not doing it? I doubt! May be not at a scale of PRSIM, but they are still doing it!
What I want to say is simple – Internet does not have geographical boundaries, it is not owned by a particular government. It is OPEN WEB. If you put something out there, you are responsible for it. If your message is read by someone not intended for them, it is you and your messaging/email service is to be blamed. Do not blame NSA or a Spy Agency or Government because they are able to get access to it.
I am especially surprised by people who on one hand want no restrictions to be put on the web and want to make it as open as possible. On the other hand, they want to put restrictions on people accessing the information available.
[box type=”shadow” ]Now, I want to repeat this – My article is based on the fact that I believe none of the internet companies offer “backdoor access” to agencies like NSA. And even if it is true, you need be worried more about that company rather than any Government or security agency.[/box]
Would love to hear thoughts on this.