** Please Note: Some quotes in this article contain strong language. **
As a sceptic I have always looked for the most logical, rational explanation for the happenings of the word and I have long ignored conspiracy theories. I have discovered that it is, in fact, a logical fallacy to assume something is not possible just because it looks like it might be a conspiracy theory. I was awakened by the news of the NSA’s surveillance program, which essentially confirms that we are being watched by not only government agencies, but private firms interested in knowing more about us than we know about ourselves. You may have already dismissed my words, as I would have done a year ago, but read on anyway – I might be able to reveal to you that you should – we all should – be deeply concerned about the implications of the NSA’s far reaching surveillance program.
The Washington Post reported a new leak illustrating (literally) that the NSA has tapped directly into the data-centers of the top tech companies. If it wasn’t enough that they were collecting mass amounts of information under the guise of “targeted aquisition” this should hopefully show you that their techniques are anything but targeted.
The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.
By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.
So, maybe you need a more credible voice to be convinced. Well, two of the top information security minds in the world who work for Google commented on their personal blogs after seeing this newly leaked information.
This is what Brandon Downey, a network security engineer for Google, had to say:
I’m just going to post my thoughts on this. Standard disclaimer: They are my own thoughts, and not those of my employer. Fuck these guys. I’ve spent the last ten years of my life trying to keep Google’s users safe and secure from the many diverse threats Google faces … seeing this, well, it’s just a little like coming home from War with Sauron, destroying the One Ring, only to discover the NSA is on the front porch of the Shire chopping down the Party Tree and outsourcing all the hobbit farmers with half-orcs and whips.
And another quote from Mike Hearn, a network security colleage of Brandon Downey’s:
Unfortunately we live in a world where all too often, laws are for the little people. Nobody at GCHQ or the NSA will ever stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process. In the absence of working law enforcement, we therefore do what internet engineers have always done – build more secure software. The traffic shown in the slides below is now all encrypted and the work the NSA/GCHQ staff did on understanding it, ruined. Thank you Edward Snowden.
(See here for original article containing qutoes)
In my mind, this is only one erosion of our freedoms out of many and it is certainly not the last if we continue down this course. Enjoy this video, seen best in HD and fullscreen, which helps illustrate how we are all responsible.