The title may sound bit exaggerating, but would be the truth eventually, if this is let to grow out of control.
Recently the world is worried and talking about the NSA’s some of the evil works. When I was talking about this to my friend, the first question was “So, whats up with that?”.
And If you had tried to speak about this to your friend, chances that you would have come across these or similar questions.
“Isn’t it whatever government does it in the name of security and safety is really mean to do good for people of the country?”
“What does it really bother you when government eavesdrops on your communication network?”
“Why should I care if government get details from google, facebook, my mobile service providers?”
“And I’m from country XXXXXXX and all these fuzz are for USA, only the american has to worry about”.
Well, the reaction from my friend isn’t surprising for me. If you are not following the privacy and freedom of speech and information related issues in the past, then you are not supposed to get alerted by this. Not just tracking complete data, even tracking the metadata ( i.e information about what you did rather than the details about it ) of your communication will turn dangerous to you.
Here are some of the facts and some of my thoughts what could a government can do holding your data.
If you have shared something about terrorism, say LTTE and atrocities happened in Sri Lanka in the name of War on LTTE in facebook or in any social media sites , government knows that this particular individual is now LTTE supporter and may need to watched
If you have watched movies, downloaded softwares (illegal, porn, pirated), chances that government knows about you and may stop at your doorstep when something related goes wrong in a big way.
If you have written some hate comment or text about government, this may fire back to you and may either lose job or stop you from getting jobs. What worse could happen to one not getting a job?
You are running a very competitive business and your phone calls are wired and taped. Someone watches what you speak about your business and could potentially share it.
You are a military personal and spoke over phone with another military colleague which may / maynot be a harmful information, so now you can be targeted when something in national security is compromised or can frame you easily.
You communicate to your doctor via email / phone about some disease that you or your family member has, now government knows about it and when some breakout happens, then you can be targeted.
You are dealing with your bank related to your financials and everything is getting recorded in some database where government monitors what your transactions are all about. Your details can be shared to Income tax department on what are you doing.
And with the BigData and other related technologies, it is comparatively easier to link all the transcripts of a particular individual and build the history.
Whatever I described here is just a tip of the iceberg. There may be much more consequences as well.
All these are new generation of threats that government has put its hands on. This is new generation of armed power to suppress an individual or a group of individuals to protest and express their thought in a democratic country. This new generation of suppression leads to much more powerful and worst attack on humankind by some group of people called government, whom we have elected to do good for us.
And there is another set of risks involved. When we say government, it is not just mere computers collects and digests the information. There are human analysts who are looking at your data. And that analyst could be anyone, he could be your neighbour, your kin or even your life’s worst rival.
If the current active protest of the Online Privacy violation isnt supported to large extent, then this would set as a valid mechanism to exercise in any country by its government. So, show your protest for this online spying and make an effort not to spread to other countries as well.
I hope you are are little worried about the issue and taking precautions on you not getting tracked as much as possible. There are even worst hidden in the NSA’s PRISM program. It is really an irony that one who speaks about privacy is invading yours.