• Rudransh Vaidya

Breach of Privacy: How the government plans to steal your data

A number of times we have heard of the word ‘Privacy’ and how it plays a vital role in our day-to-day lives.

Whether it is, the Brown parents not allowing their kids to close the door of their rooms or about leaking the stored data on our phones.

Privacy is the choice of an individual or group to confine information about them, and thereby manifest themselves at their own discretion.

Now if all your details, pictures, credit card information and all the private things were to be traded online it would certainly bring harm to you. This phenomenon is known as ‘Breach of Privacy’.

Nowadays it isn’t as complicated and difficult to hack into or leak private information of an individual, even organisations and governments have ostensibly been cracking into individual’s private information.

In 2014, Edward Snowden went on disclosing the acts of Global Surveillance by the National Security Agency of the United States, which came as a big blow to the world.

When the third world countries were promoting Right to Privacy, they were under the surveillance of NSA that kept track of each and every individual’s activities and work. They tainted Snowden as a whistleblower and charged him under the Espionage Act.

The National Security Agency could access our content by reading our emails, listening to our conversations, seeing the pictures and videos we consume, or following the transactions we make, even track behaviour through our metadata, which reveals date, time or location of our cellphone interactions.

But the intelligence agencies dismiss such claims, arguing that their programs are constitutional, and subject to rigorous congressional and judicial oversight. Secrecy, they say, is essential to meet their aim of protecting the public from terrorist attacks.

Snowden’s module of Breach of Privacy by the NSA revolves around three degrees:

The First degree: It starts by collecting and gathering information on an individual under suspicion.

The Second degree: It starts to gather information on the people you are in direct contact with.

The Third degree: It then spreads to monitoring the people who come into contact with the second-degree ones.

And continuing this process and bringing the whole world under surveillance.

The NSA say it needs all this data to help prevent another terrorist attack like 9/11. In order to find the needle in the haystack, they argue, they need access to the whole haystack.

This picture informs about the data collection technique by the National Security Agency through the developed search engine based program named PRISM.

Till this day it is deliberately debated that the NSA is still going through circumstances, which allow them to interrogate a suspect and tap onto his private information.

The big question lies: Is it safe for us to access Internet while being ensured that our Privacy won’t be breached.

If not we would all be the victims of Breach of Privacy.

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