I've always been interested about privacy in our digital world, and like many others, know what Edward Snowden did a few years ago. I've watched CitizenFour, and read No Place to Hide, by Glenn Greenwald. As much as people are interested in sovereignty and privacy, has anything changed since the Snowden leaks? The whole world knows about the extent of the NSA's Spying on not only American citizens, but those who live in the countries involved with the Five Eyes. And the news has died down, while places like Canada put similar spying bills in place. And yet, the NSA grows ever more powerful, and the majority of people have different issues to deal with.
Now, a lot of people say people should have nothing to hide. I beg to differ, you wouldn't tell a stranger every single thing you've done, every payment you've made, or how many phone calls you've made to whomever. For you, a simple search can easily reveal my name, phone number, and address, in addition to whatever can be dug up by my online alias candunc. Plus, there is whatever I write on this blog, which is not censored in any way. I'm willingly putting this stuff out there. I don't try to hide anything, I don't keep my head down, I don't worry about what I say. In no way, am I an 'ideal' citizen.
The NSA is harming our internet by breaking encryption as we know it, and we don't have an easy solution to fix that. In addition, the NSA is indirectly causing people to censor themselves, and not say anything 'risky' – or rather, anything that the government may not want to hear. The impact is very negative, and this internet, this freedom of expression, may be no more. It will be gone before we even notice.
And the saddest thing of it all? The Simpsons did it first. In 2007, they portrayed the NSA as listening to every phone call and whatnot in a short scene. The majority of people probably saw it as a joke, and not the meta-data scraping conglomerate that it ended up to be.
Hi lawyers. I'm sure you aren't happy with me linking a 41 second video on a blog post, so if you want, just send me an email and I'll take it down for you.