An IIPM Initiative
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

NSA : Public monitoring

Big Brother with you, always


The NSA's program is an affront to the idea of personal privacy
SAYAN GHOSH | Issue Dated: November 30, -0001, New Delhi
Tags : NSA | 9/11 | Prism operations | Google | Facebook | Yahoo | Microsoft | Apple |

The post 9/11 world has seen the security apparatus spread its tentacles through use of surveillance technology in military, business and social establishments of the United States. One such surveillance program by the National Security Agency has not only made headlines but has also sparked considerable debate and controversy. The program in question is the NSA’s ambitious data mining partnerships with technology firms, which has been codenamed “Prism”. At least nine transnational internet behemoths are involved in Prism operations, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple and Skype. There have been reports of many instances of cooperation between these tech firms and the NSA on “Prism” operations.  If these reports are true there is a likelihood of the deal being thrust upon these firms by the NSA either by threat or through blandishments. However, most of these firms have vehemently denied their involvement. Facebook’s website says: “We do not provide any government organisation with direct access to Facebook servers.”

In any case, tech firms are obliged to furnish information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and none of the information sharing requests done through it have been declined. However, the firms are not obliged to do the same for NSA. But reports about secret deals of cooperation being struck with the NSA and the firms listed in Prism have gained currency. The surveillance of millions of customers’ data is gross violation of an individual’s freedom and the right to privacy. The process is not transparent and to execute such an opaque and secretive mission on the innocent public is reminiscent of a Soviet style monitoring that Americans deeply abhor. Will they then put up with Big Brother watching over them!

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017