The Guardian’s John Naughton reiterates what many of us following the NSA surveillance leaks have understood from the beginning.
“Repeat after me:”, Naughton writes, “Edward Snowden is not the story. The story is what he has revealed about the hidden wiring of our networked world.”
Indeed, and now in the wake of the latest details surrounding “XKeyscore”, the tool used by the NSA that apparently collects everything a user does on the internet and, presumably, every key stroke as its name implies, it’s not at all surprising we’re seeing resources like Prism Break cropping up.
The NSA surveillance debacle feels like the last straw in the gradual whittling away of personal privacy as we know it. The question worth asking: did it ever exist in the first place?
Naughton feels the days of the internet as a truly global network are numbered. He goes on to suggest a “Balkanised” future is a very real possibility. That is, “[networks] divided into a number of geographical or jurisdiction-determined subnets as societies such as China, Russia, Iran and other Islamic states decide they need to control how their citizens communicate.”
I, on the other hand, am more optimistic about the future and feel the cat is out of the bag thanks to Snowden. The average Netizen is much more aware of the extent of government surveillance programs in the digital space. The resultant public discourse will hopefully force companies like Facebook and Google to be more upfront and transparent with their cloud-based data collection activities.
With the help of organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation we can better understand and defend our rights on the net.
image: graffiti street art by Banksy