So it is as we thought. George Orwell was onto something! Upon the publication of his dystopian novel ‘1984’ in 1949 much was made of his portrayal of a totalitarian future living under omnipresent government surveillance. Too farfetched many cried.
As the world became aware for the first time of ‘Prism’ we are thinking again, it would seem that big brother is indeed always watching!
The Prism surveillance program under the guidance of the NSA (National Security Agency) was set up to thwart acts of terrorism in the United States. Now leaked documents from Edward Snowden have reportedly shown the FBI has installed equipment on the property of certain US-based tech firms and passes on retrieved data to the CIA and National Security Agency.
The scandal has had far reaching effects, with many companies and organisations dragged into the net. Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), the defence contractor that employed leaker Edward Snowden has seen its share price fall. Social media has also come under the telescope as accusations fly that they have been passing on our data. Companies such as Google have vehemently denied being in cohorts with the US government.
The snakelike effect of this security surveillance has reached the shores of the UK. The claims are that Governments are sharing their findings. Foreign Security William Hague has assured us all that for those of us not practising in criminal activities we have nothing to worry about.
US President Barack Obama has added that Prism is “narrowly” focused on terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related issues.
“We are not rifling through the emails of ordinary German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anybody else.”
So my question is: when is security just too much? Do we have to worry as to the extent of the reported overreaching? Is it fine for governments to look into all of our private lives to find the bad guys? Do I even know which side of the fence I sit on? Okay that was more than one question but you catch my gist. I can see the need for being vigilant but I have to say this whole scandal leaves me feeling uneasy. I certainly feel that this has a lot more mileage before it has played out.
But as they say on Crime Watch, “Don’t have nightmares’
Until next time…