We recently worked on an SAT prompt in our English class dealing with online privacy and how it is undervalued today compared to the past. From this, I thought of the many different factors that could affect the value of our online privacy. I finally came to the conclusion that the invasion of our online privacy is due to two things, the government and ourselves…
As you may know, there is nothing from the government that you could hide online. Even through strong passwords and encrypted email services, nothing could be hid from the government. The reason for this is because in 2008 President Bush signed a directive that gives the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies to monitor Internet traffic to protect all government computer systems.
The NSA figured out how to track down who’s who on Tor by exploiting weaknesses in Web browsers, according to documents former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked to The Guardian — a bug that was only recently fixed.
PRISM, the government’s hush-hush mass data collection program, lets even low-level NSA analysts access email, chats and Internet phone calls.
The U.S. government issues frequent, secret demands for customer data from telecommunications companies.
Now, this could either be a good or bad declaration depending on your view on the government, but let’s not get into that. That fact is that even if we do secure our privacy as much as we possible could, our documents are going to get viewed one way or the other. The fact that we had more privacy in the past was due to how much lee way the government had on us. Now, I’m not saying that our privacy in real life are going to result into this, but the fact is that the majority of our privacy online is like an open book.
The second factor that corrupts our online privacy is none other than ourselves. Countless times I have seen people post things on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that I believe should be kept to their own selves. I think of social media as a trap that tempts people to believe that they can do whatever they want on the internet without being caught. One of the most privacy killing setting on those social media sites is, ironically enough, the privacy settings. People think that just because they click a button that says “private” means that everything they say is going to stay PRIVATE. The fact is that nothing will stay PRIVATE online. We need to think about what we’re saying, especially on the internet because the reason why privacy is being undervalued is because of our own actions.