The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Tag: Surveillance (Page 2 of 2)

Surveillance, huh? What is it good for? – Paul Bernal

gchqEvidence seems to be mounting that mass surveillance isn’t actually very good at dealing with terrorism. Hot on the heels of the admission by the NSA that their mass surveillance of telephone call data had only been helpful in a single terrorism-related case, a detailed new report by the New America Foundation seems to suggest that their other surveillance programmes, including the PRISM programme, are also conspicuously ineffective. Continue reading

‘Individual privacy vs collective security’? NO! – Paul Bernal

gchq1As reported in the BBC, “Parliament’s intelligence watchdog is to hear evidence from the public as part of a widening of its inquiry into UK spy agencies’ intercept activities.”  Whilst in many ways this is to be welcomed, the piece includes a somewhat alarming but extremely revealing statement from Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee:

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If privacy is dead, we need to resurrect it! – Paul Bernal

Privacy is DeadBack in 1999, Scott McNealy, then CEO of Sun Microsystems, told journalists that privacy was dead. “You have zero privacy anyway,” he said, “Get over it.”

In internet terms, 1999 was a very long time ago. It was before Facebook even existed. Before the iPhone was even a glint in Steve Jobs’ eye. Google was barely a year old. And yet even then, serious people in the computer industry had already given up on privacy. Continue reading

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