Sunday, April 6, 2014

Opposition Rises in Response to Bulk Data Sweeps

In the aftermath of Edward Snowden's reveal of the NSA's surveillance of phone calls and emails throughout the United States, the country has faced significant backlash from the public. The outcry has been so significant that President Barack Obama has proposed legislation that will end the country's bulk collection of telephone data by the NSA. The article details the emergence of a coalition that asks the President to implement a ban of all bulk collection of personal data in the United States, and not just limit it to telephone information. If this movement can gather significant momentum, then the collection of personal internet and financial information could potentially cease.

The government may be hesitant to comply with this proposal because it would significantly limit the means in which they can access information. The practices certainly seem unethical in the eyes of many Americans, but it seems unlikely that the government would be willing to essentially remove the internet as a source to extract information on potential national threats. Despite the growing support for the widespread ban on the bulk collection of data by the NSA, the actual implementation of this ban seems unrealistic.

A potential negative result of this ban that people may be overlooking is the possibility of less protective measures taken by the individuals who make their information constantly available on the internet. Of course Americans should have the right to use the internet in any way they desire without having to worry about any threats of having their information stolen, but they should always act as if their information has the potential to be stolen. For example, if this ban were to be implemented, internet users may not feel the need to check the validity of certain websites that desire user input because they know that the government will not be using their information. Just because the government would no longer be collecting internet data does not mean that the threat is completely eradicated. The country should be mindful of the fact that no matter what regulations are put into place, the threat for data breaches will always exist in this era of technology, and a lack of awareness for this threat could pose more trouble for internet users than any government spying that took place through the NSA.

The only true way for user information to be protected fully is for greater emphasis to be placed on data security from Information Technology departments across the country, and the world. The application of additional resources, such as education, time, and money towards the strengthening of
data security will help to keep all professional and personal information safe across the internet. This is by no means an easy task, but these efforts are far more likely to gain both citizen and government support than a legislative movement to eliminate the bulk collection of internet data because they work towards the best interests of all parties involved. Strengthening data security across the board will make for a safer internet, a safer country, and a safer world knowing that personal and professional information is not at risk for theft.

AFP. "Coalition Wants US to End Bulk Data Sweep | SecurityWeek.Com." Coalition Wants US to End Bulk Data Sweep | SecurityWeek.Com. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

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