How Should the Disclosures about NSA Snooping Change Things?

Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 in Online, Mobile & IT by Patricia Seybold

I can’t ignore Edward Snowden’s whistle-blowing revelation: The US government is snooping much more than our US Constitution allows on the private communications of its citizens, residents, and even lawmakers. Not to mention the rampant electronic eavesdropping being carried out by our spies hacking Internet and phone systems in most other countries. This is not a good time to be an American in the world. It’s embarrassing to be living in a “democratic” country that has turned fascist since 9/11. Edward Snowden

It’s not my practice to speak out on politics to my clients. But I can’t ignore the fact that my most loyal customers have been discussing these events quite volubly online since the news broke. Their consternation isn’t so much political as it is technical: it appears that the NSA’s snooping has actually compromised ALL of the certificate-authority based security provisions that our entire global economy depends upon!

There are two main consequences from these revelations that I foresee. But I also fear that PR spin, human nature (bury our heads in the sand), and apathy (I have other things to worry about; I don’t have time to worry about whether I’m being spied upon) will, once again, prevail.

Consequence #1: Americans and global citizens will demand an end to government intrusion (anyone’s government) on our private communications. I believe that there will be political repercussions. Perhaps the emergence of a viable third-party movement in this country, combined with cyber-demonstrations and actual demonstrations around the world. Maybe some high-placed heads will roll.

Consequence #2: Smart people will take steps to protect their own important communications and transactions—both personal and business proprietary. Snowden himself recommended the use of PGP security for his correspondents. I expect that alternative anonymous end-to-end encrypted (protected even from our government) networking and cloud solutions will begin to flood the market. We will look back on this open Internet, open cloud computing, free-wheeling, social networking era with nostalgia. Just as the recent film, the Great Gatsby, celebrates the excesses of the idle rich in the roaring ‘20s, we’ll look back on the last decade with morbid fascination. How could we have been so carefree and careless? Why did we think Big Brother wasn’t slurping up every candid conversation we had?

Here are some of the most insightful articles/blog posts Patty’s Pioneers have been writing, sharing and discussing. Special thanks to “Master Curator” Scott Jordan, who finds many of these gems!

Happy Reading

Edward Snowden and His Revelations:

Edward Snowden: how the spy story of the age leaked out

Ex-CIA man ’s snooping claims raise alarm bells in Hong Kong

Why I Don’t Care About Edward Snowden

David Brooks: The last Stalinist

Are Normal US Citizens at Risk?

Two times the government used its anti-terrorism powers to target Americans not engaged in terrorism

7 Reasons to Worry About Federal Surveillance

3 Reasons the ‘Nothing to Hide’ Crowd Should Be Worried About Government Surveillance

What do They know about you?

Worried about the Mass Surveillance? How to Practice Safer Communication

How Long Has This Been Going On? And What IS the NSA Doing?

5 Basic Unknowns about the NSA "Black Hole"

The NSA's Ragtime Surveillance Program and the Need for Leaks

International Repercussions:

Inside the CIA’s Ultra-Secret China Hacking Group

India: New Monitoring System Threatens Rights

The Data Retention Disaster Heading to the US

Germans accuse U.S. of Stasi tactics before Obama visit

Bits of Freedom: Dutch Spooks Must Stop Use of Prism

Political Left & Right:

Bernie Sanders On NSA Leak Revelations: We're Heading For An ‘Orwellian Future’

Ryan: NSA program ‘creepy’

If Corporations Can Monitor Us; Why Not the Government?

Companies Scramble for Consumer Data

Should the government know less than Google? Comment from Peter Horne: The point this misses is that you can walk away from Google and they won't follow you down the road to MS, Apple, or what other service you use...

Technology/Security Implications:

The Prism Prison by Peter Horne, Patty's Pioneer

Silent Circle Announces New Pricing To Support Fast-Growing Business And Personal Use Customers

Boundless Informant NSA data-mining tool – four key slides – How do open source nerds feel about maintaining and evolving this infrastructure now?

NSA Prism: Why I'm boycotting US cloud tech - and you should too


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