senior fall alert
Where we have come to and the potential for even further
exploitation of our privacy and personal information that gets accidently scooped up with actual targeted data like dolphins when they are fishing for tuna would like have given even George Orwell nightmares. Most of what we know about developing governmental surveillance programs and America’s growing hacking efforts comes from top secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden, infamous whistleblower who handed documents to journalists and is still on the run. Although there
are laws against persecuting whistleblowers who reports something in good faith, and their names are supposed to remain anonymous, this almost never happens. Subsequent to Snowden, another whistleblower, John Crane, came forward supporting the information delivered by Snowden. The irony was that Crane, formerly an assistant inspector general at the Pentagon, was in charge of protecting whistleblowers but when the system failed felt obligated to become one himself. While there was a public outcry after Snowden’s disclosures, there was little change in opinion demonstrated by several poll. In 2006, a NSA surveillance poll indicated that 51 percent of those surveyed found NSA’s surveillance policy to be acceptable while 47 percent found it unacceptable. In a Pew Research poll carried out a month after Snowden’s disclosures although there was some indication that people changed their behavior in terms of electronic security, attitudes about government surveillance remained similar. According to the Pew Research Center:In summary, George Orwell’s novel, 1984, presents what is often considered to be a frightening picture of the use of surveillance data collected by the government. While much of what Orwell seemed to fear has become a reality in today’s world, the current reality of the negative consequences of participatory surveillance far surpasses what Orwell envisioned. Participatory surveillance is engaged in when individuals knowingly allow websites to access personal information entered in profiles and online forms as well as when easily gathered recordings of oneself and others through commonly owned mobile technology.