Data security is the most significant concern for individuals and organisations around the world today. International governments and organisations are devoting considerable financial and human resources to ward off cyber crime. Simultaneously, some governments pour funds to gather data from the world in an effort to create the surveillance hegemony. This information is shared, sold or kept secret for use later.
Edward Snowden’s whistleblower organisation WikkiLeaks started divulging data about National Security Agency, NSA’s, (U.S.A) covert activities of surveilling individuals and organisations from the around the world. This was year 2013 and four years hence the world of data and technology is no safer.
The impact of the data theft on masses is strong. It arouses fear in the masses, as grave as the theological fear of being watched by the all powerful. What we lose without knowing exacerbates in some a cognitive distortion, instilling fear, self-doubt and, anticipating repercussions. Some, akin this to a kind of global surveillance McCarthyism.
The latest leaks by the whistleblower organisation accused NSA to compromise Pakistani Internet Service Providers, ISPs. Mobilink GSM network was named as a possible target. The telecommunication companies denied any knowledge of the event. This raises worries among the consumers who want to ensure personal privacy and wonder if the government would take action to safeguard its citizen’s interests.
Although we now know that there is another kind of surveillance that the global citizenship is coerced into through social media and software applications. Here at least we feel some iota of control on what we share. However, the information that is achieved from individuals through clandestine means really worries them.
While considerable laws are introduced, whistleblowers have less and less treading ground. The alternative culture of information gathering and security is fading. The telecommunication organisations that guarded privacy have been defeated by hegemonic interests and effectively pushed back. This culture of fear isn’t a foreign reality…laws at home are also impacting local netizens and watchful eyes monitor every movement made online. The mass dessamination of media, games and applications have distracted the public so much that they are less and less guarded and aware as to their rights and responsibilities.
The larger information ecology while demoralizes many with their hegemonic interests is also problematized by resistance groups. Across the world individuals and groups make alliances to raise awareness and celebrate the Snowdens and Assanges. However, while media and international propaganda dubs the whistleblowing anarchists as deranged, traitors and, immoral, these alliances will always make sure that our future generations know the value of civil liberties.