Internet Privacy

A curious aspect of Internet history is user privacy. The web contains data for our entire personal information, from location to bank details and ultimately, identity. Deliberately or not, we provide this information, but is it really safe?

As Curran (2012) observes, surveillance technology has been deployed extensively since the 1990s, and websites and governments have been collecting user data and using it for various reasons. Hackers have also been advancing rapidly. Therefore personal information is exposed to anyone with the skills or assets to find it.

Correspondingly, in the mid-1990s a group of scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory created the software Tor. Its primary purpose, according to Tor, was to protect U.S. government communications. Nowadays, Tor offers online anonymity and enables untraceable web browsing. Do you know other features of Tor that make it different from software such as Chrome and Firefox?

We all witnessed the recent leaks that exposed US spy programme in 2013. I find it disturbing that the NSA collects telephone records and data from tens of millions of Americans. If this is a matter of safety over ethics, do you consider it an effective safety measure? Do you think using software such as Tor is a safer option?

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Definitely an interesting subject to consider; there are a couple ways that one could go with the debate about the US Government spy program. Many Americans actually say that it makes them feel safer knowing that the government is taking precautions to ensure safety against terrorist attacks. Also, the NSA is really only looking for key words and phrases that seem suspicious. However, citizens of America also argue that it is unconstitutional to invade privacy in such a way.

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  2. Privacy will always be an debatable topic within society especially as we become more dependant on technology. I believe that it is ok to monitor people personal information as long as the information gathered is used for their protection. However, many of our consumer patterns are collected and used by companies to encourage more sales. This is an exploitation of our privacy and is when gathering information online can be considered unethical.

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  3. That is right. However, numerous polls reveal that the majority of Americans are both concerned with and opposed to the spy programme. Here is an interesting link that gives more details: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/10/polls-continue-show-majority-americans-against-nsa-spying.
    Recently, the UK government revealed it also wants to spy on the digital communications of the citizens. According to a survey conducted by YouGov (2015), the majority of British people support increased surveillance and trust the intelligence services. Here is the full article: http://uk.businessinsider.com/uk-government-draft-investigatory-powers-bill-how-it-wants-to-spy-on-citizens-2015-11

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  4. Personally, I have never felt secure while using the Internet, maybe it’s because I don’t have programming skills, so I don’t know how it works in more details. Once upon a time I had a virus in my computer and a guy from the Apple called me me to remove it. I was so scared when I saw how easily he can enter to my device and do whathever he wants. Nowadays almost all of our personal information can be found online and there is no guarantee that it is perfectly safe. I hope that someday Internet will be a safer space to rely on.

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