Ad Here  
March
April
May
June
July
August
 
 
The lions roar to growth... Worldwatch Institute’s Vital Signs Pakistan – the siege within 2016 Year in review London Bridge is falling down The story of the diminishing value of the pound A success? A failure? Or a fraud? National Security @ the cost of Privacy Move forward in fast forward mode Doklam, for the home theatre? Bitten by the South American bug… Promise of 9 billion pounds in FDI The mid-air scare Siemens-Mitsubishi rival GE’s bid For Alstom takeover East Asian and Indian Trump cards Trump and Netanyahu rule the headlines Relentless hunt for trade deals... A person will win. What the country might lose... Let’s copy paste Trump unconcerned and immune to scandals Nuclear sabre-rattling takes centre stage All talk and hopefully, all action Maggie melts BBC stars in a vain vitriolic campaign Modi sharpens the look - east policy In US he was excellent... No longer a shining star The new state of terror Forget USA and UK for higher education May on back foot, advantage India? Why the hell are we refusing to learn? A mixed shopping bag And the Nobel goes to… Happy birthday, Sharief Of diversity and inclusion Modi in Washington The Japanese will rise again... Big O’s win When German consumers were paid for power consumed! When Americans help yuan to emerge a reserve currency... Auto component exports to UK brighten French elections and more Media’s Modi phobia... China's might - India's Weakness End of an extravaganza A sense of oneness in a foreign land... Trade prospects promising 2015 Year in review Two weeks of Trump
 
National Security @ the cost of Privacy
It’s been on since 2007. But it was revealed by a whistleblower only in June 2013.

America’s National Security Agency (NSA) has been operating an electronic surveillance programme, codenamed PRISM, since 2007. But the existence of the programme was leaked to the world only in June 2013. The whistleblower: Edward Joseph Snowden, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who worked as a contractor for NSA.

 

Everything I do and say is recorded:

Snowden told The Guardian: “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things. I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.”  Snowden shared classified material to substantiate his claims and flew to Hong Kong, where he has sought asylum. He has also reported that NSA has been hacking into computers in China and Hong Kong, which he promises to substantiate if need be.

Snowden’s material shows several technology companies such as Microsoft and Apple participating  and that 98 per cent of PRISM production is based on Microsoft, Google and Yahoo. But the companies have denied any knowledge of PRISM. The question is: did a company like Microsoft not have the expertise to identify unauthorised access to its servers for 7 long years? Incredible.

The US authorities have claimed that PRISM was required in national interest to combat terrorism and that this power is used only on foreigners.

“Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.”


The involvement of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google...

It is reasonable to infer that the PRISM programme was carried out with the knowledge of these companies and now that they have been caught, they wish to deny their involvement to protect their image. Remember the NSA programme was carried under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the companies providing information are legally immune to any proceedings against them?              

A question which lingers in our minds is: yes, the agencies have the right to information and the service providers are bound to provide the same but does it warrant direct access to their servers?

The next question: is do non-Americans’ users of these websites have any say in this regard?  The answer: “not at all.”  This is the price we have to pay for availing the US company services.

A few years back, in 2010, there was a rift between Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian Blackberry service provider in India, and the Indian Government on the latter’s accessibility to former’s encrypted data services. While our government felt the need for access to email and data services in the interest of India’s security, RIM was reluctant to share it. A compromise was agreed upon in putting a server in India for intercepting the email communications and in March 2013, our government tested this facility and plans to take possession of it.


Contrast the two scenarios.

In the case of Gmail, Yahoo mail, etc, our data is accessed by US authorities without any noise, since the service providers belong to US and servers were maintained outside India. In the case of Blackberry, our data was not available to us since the service provider is not an Indian and the server was maintained outside India. This reveals our dependence on outside agencies. As a fallout, various bodies like India’s Internet Service Providers Association are suggesting that these American websites have to set up a server in India, thereby protecting the data from the US authorities.

The Indian Government, in April 2013, rolled out the Central Monitoring System (CMS) to safeguard our privacy from mobile operators and protect India’s national security. Details of CMS are awaited. Presumably it allows the government to snoop on phone calls. Some are already up in arms against roll out of CMS  intruding into their privacy. But did they have the courage to stand up against PRISM?

Let us keep our eyes wide open, for all the revelations from the stable of Edward Snowden. Also let us wait and watch, on what our Supreme Court has to say on the public interest litigation (PIL) filed on our behalf by Professor S N Singh.

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
RELATED NEWS
ABOUT IE
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
 
PRIVACY POLICY
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
 
CONTACT US
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Guindy,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236
EMAIL: indecom1968@gmail.com