Internet surveillance and the privacy wars on Sunday Extra: Background Briefing

An interview with Cory Doctorow presented by Jonathan Green was broadcast on ABC Radio National on 29 November 2015. Doctorow stated that the internet is increasingly being used as a tool of surveillance by government security agencies, law enforcement and those with a profit motive. The data gathering activity that is done by the government is considered as not beneficial for citizens. Therefore, people ought to reject this program in order to protect their privacy.

Privacy is not about sharing nothing, but about knowing who is sharing what.  In the past, it was difficult to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. However, when the telephone was introduced, it became easier to hear what other people were saying. There are many technology corporations which run their businesses by selling data, tapping technology, software, servers, and computing power to government agencies. Meanwhile, the NSA is developing surveillance techniques using drone technology. This fact indicates that in the future, the internet may be an uncomfortable place for democracy. The government intelligence agencies are shifting their activity from human intelligence to signal intelligence which targets video, phone, email and other kinds of electronic communication. It is also revealed that the NSA surveillance program monitors one of every 10,000 people. They use their technology not for targeted people but randomly. They do not necessarily need to know their targets, they just gather all the information they can for anything they need.

A simple thing that can help protect people from this surveillance activity is using cryptography. People can use many available encryption tools that help them to scramble information thoroughly. Government agencies need high technological understanding and a lot of time and space to break the encryption. As a result, people can have better protection for their privacy on the internet.



Internet Surveillance And The Privacy Wars On Sunday Extra: Background Briefing 2015, podcast, 29 November, ABC Radio, viewed 27 January 2016, <



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