In the June of this year , Barack Obama stated the one of the most important allegations of this century: “You can’t have 100 percent secure, and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience”.
Also, addressing the surveillance system that is present now, he said : “We’re going to have to make some choices as a society”.
This statement made by the Obama, followed after the allegations of Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, who alarmed the society by the vigilant and relentlessly leaking the data, of the astonishing and startling sweep of surveillance activities conducted by the agency, for the most acknowledged newspapers today, The Guardian, the Washington Post and in the others also.
Edward Snowden became one of the most dominant figures in the year 2013, but is seems, that his information would have the most implication at the time that would yet come.
Although Snowden statements made the pivotal opinion barter in the society, it seems that we would never have the conversation the Obama implied. Although there has been a huge interest in Snowden and his actions, nothing has happened or seems to ever happen in the near future, in making tough decisions in the society.
The whistlehackers has been present over the years, disclosing the classified information into the public, in the belief of doing a greater good to the society.
Daniel Ellsberg was whistlehacker in the Vietnam era, as he exposed classified Pentagon Papers, and thgrugoh that action created the base for the modern whistlehackers. In the internet era, the most known correlative where the actions of WikiLeaks, that molded the 21-St century into the knowledge society, grounded by the refined and wide technical advancements, but also with changing the ideology of the “hacker” philosophy into more open and nonconforming.
The consequences of the Snowden’s whitlehackers actions are forthcoming. He had an idealistic plan, vast technical skills that were supported by the network of the identical followers with sophisticated knowledge and the same agenda. Snowden, however, was able to keep himself out of the reach of the American government. But as said before, the importance of his actions is yet to come.
Back in June 2013., The program called PRISM was exposed. The PRSIM has the ability and used this ability, as quoted “ to obtain direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants,”implying that the mass surveillance program was unthinkably enormous,
Journalist Glenn Greenvald, who was the most intrusive Snowden’s leak-recipient, managed only to work through a portion of the enormous number of received files , the numbers are unimaginable- the number of received data hits the 20,000 classified documents from the NSA.
NSA has created malware that spreads up to 50,000 computers in the World, and runs on an intrusive gathering intelligence system. This system is used on even friendly heads of state. The quote about how this malware works, is almost threatening- “supercomputers and the algorithms used to search vast databases [that] have put the N.S.A. far ahead of rival intelligence services”.
The fact is, not only the tech companies are directly accessed, but this malware has ability to route around any permitting process by infiltrating data links between far-flung servers. The most important tech companies are demanding government reform, because the consequences here are unpredictable for the public and the citizens. These companies have a business model that relies upon assembling users’ data, and would have an unpredictable amount of loss, if the users stop interacting with them, because of the high risk of NSA intruding.
But, Snowden left us with his second inheritance.
There are reports of almost 480,000 contractors with government, and they all have the top secret security clearance. It is for sure, that there are more whistlehackers in this community. All of this seems almost unrealistic, as we have been thrown into the Big Brother scenario, as described by Geroge Orwell in his book “1984”. But, what happens if one of the individual with the right skills, and on the right place, in the right time, makes what Snowden did? The plot is a streaming flow of the facts that lead to the disastrous problems.
The conclusion is that as more and more the system is totalitarian and bigger, it becomes more exposed to this array of deficiency and failing.
We can presume with certainty the whistlehackers have their own ideology and supreme knowledge, to build their own community. Snowden has initiated the idea and tendency of individuals but also groups to use technology to route around official organizations. The hackers are spread even in the Anonymus and Reddit user’s ( they made an attempt to crowdsource the Boston Marathon bombing investigation), and it seems like they represent an authoritative system.
The third Snowden’s legacy is the crucial one, but also the one that is the most questionable.
As the Obama suggested the probability of open, serious debate, it looks like it is never going to happen.
Even John Kerry admitted that NSA actions , as quoted “have been happening in many ways on an automatic pilot, because the technology is there and the ability is there,” and that: “In some cases, some of these actions have reached too far.” Indeed, it looks like we need a lot more independent supervision of government surveillance actions.
Our privacy has been corrupted, but it seems as we have given up on it.
The question arises, are we really satisfied with the insignificant reforms that have been suggested?
Is our security worth the NSA’s actions?
The whitlehackers actions brought up the two different things.
First is the government and the Congress, who have to make it pretty clear what are the choices of the society in weighing out security and privacy.
The other thing is, are we as the society itself, gonna make that choice- or not.