Edward Snowden didn't just reveal a top secret U.S. surveillance operation, but rather opened the eyes of millions of Americans to misconceptions about online privacy. He is the former National Security Agency computer technician who acknowledged leaking classified documents about the United States government’s monitoring of Internet and telephone communications.
Look -- I buy into all the hype exploiting cloud computing benefits. Having the ability to upload, store and access email and streaming music and movies along with word processing, spreadsheet and video content from any mobile device with an Internet connection proves to be priceless. Lower costs and energy-saving advantages make the cloud the perfect place to store both work and personal information. The biggest plus: Your life becomes an open book, and if the government wants to monitor that information, all they need to do is ask Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and others like Amazon Web Services.
Recently, Google publicly acknowledged receiving Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests to release consumer information -- including email messages, stored documents and photos -- and said it had complied with far fewer of the requests than it received, according to The New York Times.
Along with Google, Facebook and Microsoft also want to publish information on the volume of the government requests. The New York Times reports company execs are frustrated with the inability to remove the government gag order to give more details.
USA Todayreports that Google gave the data to the National Security Agency through a secure FTTP server, while Time magazine reports one surveillance program enabled the U.S. government to thwart dozens of terrorists' attacks. In my opinion, Edward Snowden, the intelligence contractor who leaked the details of a secret domestic data mining, isn't the issue. It's the millions of Americans who continue to believe in online privacy. Unfortunately, it doesn't exist.
Mobile technology will continue to contribute to this trend. If you want to keep something private, back it up on an external hard drive and forget about having access to the content from anywhere.
Aside from yourself, just assume someone else, or at least something else like automation software that serves up related ads in Web-based email systems like Gmail, reads your email correspondence and files uploaded to cloud servers. (As I've mentioned before, Internet routers make copies of every email sent.) Then when it happens you won't be surprised.