The Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference which took place on Saturday, July 21st 2014, had an important panelist, that being Edward Snowden. Whether he’s a whistleblower or a traitor is a hot topic on the web, but one thing is certain – he has called for assistance in creating and promoting anti-surveillance technology to mitigate government spying.
Back in early 2013, Snowden leaked confidential documents exposing the National Security Agency’s (NSA) involvement in secret surveillance systems to the general public. Due to his inability to attend the conference in person, he had to phone in via a video link from Moscow, Russia, where he is currently in asylum. He refuses to return to the United States to face the charges against him, believing that he would not receive a fair trial under the Espionage Act. Instead, Snowden is suggesting that the people put a stop to government surveillance by developing anti-surveillance technology – something that he intends to work towards in the future.
Snowden defends his actions toward exposing the NSA’s surveillance, saying that we “have a right as Americans and as members of the global community to know the broad outlines of government policies that significantly impact our lives.” He claims that we, as citizens, should know whether or not the government is monitoring us. Keep in mind that he doesn’t say that we should know details – rather, we deserve to know the broad outline of such an endeavor. Basically, he’s saying we should know that we’re being watched, and nothing more.
“We can’t have the government shut us out from every action that they’re doing,” he says, claiming that it is the key to enlightened citizenry and democracy in the United States.
Though he doesn’t mention anything about the nature of this technology that he proposes, we should consider the repercussions of introducing this kind of technology to the world. Think about how many people could conceal themselves from government activity. Would it cause an increase in cyber crime, or would it decrease the odds of being watched while online? Could hackers take advantage of it, and use the technology to conceal their movements from others? These are all concerns about this proposal, and they need to be addressed if technology like this surfaces.
If you are concerned about hackers accessing your system, the anti-surveillance technology might scare you to death. Michell Consulting Group can help your business avoid the common pitfalls and threats that hackers use to take advantage of your network. Give us a call at 305.592.5433 ext 2601 – you’ll be glad you did.
What are your thoughts on this whole Snowden situation? We (and the NSA) would like to hear your opinions about national security, particularly concerning this anti-surveillance technology idea. Let us know in the comments.