Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Why isn’t the GCHQ & NSA Privacy Invasion Socially Accepted?
Post Snowden it is easy to jump on the media bandwagon, cry foul that GCHQ and the NSA have gone too far, forsaking our Privacy for Security. Yet if you take a walk through any city or town in the UK, and your image and actions are recorded by hundreds of CCTV cameras, no permission is ever sort, and you have no idea who is watching you without your knowledge, yet this invasion of privacy is socially accepted.
Actual Mobile Phone Contract Example
We collect such information as:
your use of products and Services including but not limited to phone numbers and/or email addresses of calls, texts, MMS, emails and other communications made and received by you and the date, duration, time and cost of such communications, your searching, browsing history (including web sites you visit) and location data, internet PC location for broadband, address location for billing, delivery, installation or as provided by individual, phone location;
Then there is the UK ISPs, all of them track and record every website we visit, every network connection we make, in fact they have been instructed to do so by our government, the law was passed and this is socially accepted.
So we already significantly trust the UK government and foreign land based businesses with considerable amounts of our private lives, so is it really correct to concluded GCHQ and the NSA have gone too far in abusing our privacy as well? Their intent is to protect our society, preventing terrorists and criminals from delivering their dastardly acts. This is the role of such agencies in the modern age, they are usually the first in the firing line of politicians when terrorist actions are successful.
Finally the big question I have is who is suppose to be holding to account the commercial giants, many have compiled huge amounts of our private information. Yes we have Information Commissioners for data privacy enforcement, but the truth is these bodies are toothless tigers, shackled by ancient data protection laws which are pre-social networking and pre-cloud computing. They are pretty much useless when it comes to tackling the large tech giants, giants which are motivated by exploiting our private information for profit, a far less noble purpose than GCHQ’s and the NSA’s intent.