NSA XKeyscore is the latest privacy invasive technology revealed by documents leaked by Edward Snowden. According to the leaked documents Xkeyscore allows the NSA to search “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet” including the content of emails, websites visited and search history. Previously the NSA has asserted that they only collected “meta-data,” but XKeyscore seems to collect far more data than that.
The newest article by Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian states:
A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The article quotes Edward Snowden as saying
“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.
For more details about NSA XKeyscore and to see screenshots of the system read the full Guardian article here.
When David Brin wrote The Transparent Society he suggested that only way to protect ourselves from the inevitable surveillance of governments and large corporations is to demand reciprocal transparency. Although I’m not fully comfortable with all the ideas in that book I must admit that we are living in just the world Brin warned about: the government and corporations know a lot about what we do but we have very little insight into what they do. NSA XKeyscore is not the only example of this in the news today.
- The Senate Judiciary hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is continuing today to review whether these secret courts abuse their power.
- Bradley Manning is being sentenced today and may spend decades in prison for releasing classified information to Wikileaks.
- Yesterday a report found MIT free of wrong-doing in the death of Aaron Swartz.
You still don’t care about NSA spying and privacy issues? Here are 5 reasons you should.
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