Mass surveillance programs have been in the news over the past year, many articles being against and many supporting, both with a distinct lack of information about said surveillance programs.
What most of us do know is that GCHQ, the NSA and the CIA have been conducting mass global-scale internet surveillance designed to catch terrorists and give enough evidence to prosecute them, which they have been mildly successful at. This is said to be dangerous, as the methods used have been proven by the tech industry to be insecure and also a breach of civilian privacy. Tell me, is it worth surrendering our right to privacy and internet security for a small amount of protection from terrorists?
Another factor is that these databases of global information make a prime target for hackers. Many of them are government sponsored while some others are looking for data mines to hoard and hold for ransom.They say every computer system is insecure by its very nature, and these systems are no exception to being hacked. Is mass surveillance truly safety against terrorists, when these hackers may very well be classed as digital terrorists?
Another worry with these systems is the potential targeting of journalists and whistleblowers. A corrupt government could potentially use this data to persecute and blackmail dissidents and critics. Is it fair that a government should be able to silence these people? Would it be fair if you were arrested for criticising the government on social media, as happens in many places already? That is up to you to decide. I’m merely telling you the info.