Data Hungry: Surveillance Is Never Enough
The NSA’s PRISM scheme is already surveilling the entire American public to an enormous level, culling massive amounts of data from the PRISM Nine companies that have been complicit in that policy.
So it’s no surprise that the International Cyber Security Conference in Tel Aviv this week turned its focus on PRISM. Here’s the scary part: they don’t think it goes far enough.
RSA’s chairman, ironically the head of a company that used to be about protecting data from prying eyes, argued for “full visibility into all data” as the only real path to cybersecurity.
“All data” is exactly what it sounds like, literally everything, everywhere, in the world. Which would’ve been unthinkable just a couple of weeks ago, but now that we know that the NSA is already spying on a solid majority of our most important and most private data, it isn’t that surprising that they’d like to have everything else too. I mean, why not go for broke?
See it’s not longer just enough to have access to all your emails, they also need access to the preferences file of your email client, because maybe the way you configured it is significant. Knowing everyone you called is nice, but how about what custom ringtones you used?
The “relevant data” question has already been dispensed with by officials arguing that literally anything could be “relevant,” so there is no practical limit to this scheme. Some day, the NSA may need your saved game file from Sim City, because maybe the way you designed that city will be the final piece of the puzzle to figuring you out.
It’s not only terrifying how broad their reach is, but how many perfectly innocent little coincidences they are bound to uncover this way, which through the eyes of suspicious bureaucrats will be immediately transitioned into certainty of a horrible, imminent catastrophe.