Monday, December 01, 2014

Snowden on Privacy - “get rid of Dropbox”; Facebook and Google “dangerous services”

I stumbled upon Snowden’s remote interview from back in October. While it was conducted about 2 months ago, of course the topic of privacy online is very relevant. I think his attitude to privacy is quite interesting. Many people will say “I have nothing to hide” and as Eric Schmidt himself once said, “If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place”. However, Snowden takes a different approach and claims that this attitude is not the right way to look at it. When you say, ‘I have nothing to hide,’ you’re saying, ‘I don’t care about this right.’ You’re saying, ‘I don’t have this right, because I’ve got to the point where I have to justify it.’ The way rights work is, the government has to justify its intrusion into your rights. While the “I have nothing to hide”claim  and Eric Schmidt’s quote is one way to protect yourself, I agree that our privacy shouldn’t come down to a defensive position where we feel that we should have something to hide or that we can't search for something. 

However, reality is that we don’t have full privacy, and that said, Snowden recommends people to seek out encrypted tools and stop using services that are “hostile to privacy.” Text messages are not safe either – law enforcement can ask for warrants to access phones and carriers can be subpoenaed for data.

One last piece of food for thought from Snowden “We can have secret programs. You know, the American people don’t have to know the name of every individual that’s under investigation. We don’t need to know the technical details of absolutely every program in the intelligence community. But we do have to know the bare and broad outlines of the powers our government is claiming … and how they affect us and how they affect our relationships overseas. Because if we don’t, we are no longer citizens, we no longer have leaders. We’re subjects, and we have rulers.” 

The New Yorker video on YouTube (~58:30):

No comments: