The NSA's 'Prism' surveillance program allegedly allows it to monitor emails, internet 'chatter' on Skype, AOL, YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter and collect data directly from these servers and other technology companies. The incredulity that America has the ability to monitor what goes on in Cyberspace reveals a basic misunderstanding that online activity can ever be private.
Facebook and twitter came at a pivotal time in history. The chicken or the egg theory can be applied here in asking: Did twitter and facebook help revolutions grow, or did they help track people involved in uprisings? (In both the case of the Arab uprisings and the Occupy movement.) I would say both.
In the same way that President Obama signed the invidious NDAA on 31 December last year, despite his previous protestations about using his veto, it appears the US government has sneaked/snuck through (please delete as appropriate, depending on how you pronounce 'tomato') yet another draconian law during the festive season, which apparently further erodes the US constitution and the civil rights of all Americans.
The coalition government, under the auspices of the UK Border Agency (UKBA), is transforming universities from places of discovery and learning into border checkpoints where the constant surveillance and monitoring of students--foreign and domestic alike--is a core part of every university's mission.
A benign "Big Brother" house that watches over its old, disabled or vulnerable residents is undergoing trials in the UK. About a dozen homes in Sco...
I have written over the years about the encroaching surveillance state, the spread of CCTV and the increasing use of drones in our skies. When the North East of England introduced talking CCTV cameras that could bark orders at passing pedestrians in 2008, I thought that we were fast approaching the reductio ad absurdum point - and indeed this subject has raised a wry laugh from audiences around the world ever since.
There was a strange disconnect between the historical pageant which opened the Olympic Games and reality in London today-not to mention the plutocrats in the VIP seats. While people cheered the suffragettes, the CND symbol, the lesbian kiss, the Sex Pistols, and of course the NHS, in the real austerity Britain the politicians and businessmen watching are bringing us more wars, privatising everything in sight and curtailing the right to protest.
Our lives were never lived entirely through the telephone or the post but much of our life, indeed much of our personal life, is now lived online. It is for this reason that we should be proposing new and ever more effective safeguards to protect our digital liberty, not illiberal measures that curtail it.