How the Government Violates your Online Privacy?
In 1949, George Orwell penned a novel that depicted a frightening picture of the future. The novel, 1984 showed a world where government surveillance reigned supreme and individual privacy was obsolete.
Orwell’s work of fiction has long served as a warning of how powerful governments can infringe on their citizen’s private lives. And due to the rise of the internet, it is now more relevant than ever before.
Mass surveillance in 2018 has taken new shapes and forms. In fact, governments have now found convenient excuses like ‘National Security’ to employ surveillance techniques.
Following are the five ways in which governments continue to violate your online privacy.
Let’s dig in.
1. Spying on Tech Companies
The first door through they get into your online privacy is through the tech products you use.
Like Google, Facebook, Apple, or Android.
Different governments influence tech companies to give up customer info. And when the companies refuse, they use other tactics.
NSA through a program called PRISM constantly attempts to monitor the databases of tech corporations like Google and Facebook. Even Google’s former Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has complained about this issue.
Meanwhile, the US government also pressurized Apple to create a backdoor to help with investigations of San Bernardino terror attack. Thankfully, Apple decline but with the threat of terrorism still lurking, this issue is not completely dead.
2. Hostile Cyber Laws
Despite numerous proposals, America is yet to regulate ISPs to store customer data. However, there are laws in several other countries that regulate ISPs to store customer data.
And America too is on a troubled path.
Just last year, the government repealed the Broadband Consumer Privacy Proposal that sought to stop ISP from selling consumer data. Following this, the Net Neutrality law was repealed as well, giving ISP the right to throttle user bandwidth.
Although there are still ways to bypass ISP throttling, the new cyber laws are making life difficult for the netizens.
3. Five Eyes Alliance
A single government spying on you is bad enough; now imagine an alliance of 5 powerful countries prying on your every move.
The Five Eyes or FVEY have spied on the likes of John Lennon and Charlie Chaplin. They have a long and dishonorable history of illegal surveillance.
4. Email Surveillance
Email surveillance is an old yet effective way of obtaining invaluable information. Governments around the world hack into the emails of opposition leaders and dissidents to dig out some dirt. In America, NSA has a knack for going after the emails of people who may have potential ties to terror groups.
5. Smart TV and Smartphone monitoring
Last year, WikiLeaks revealed something that bedazzled people worldwide. Apparently, CIA is using tools to turn Smart TVs and Smartphone into spying devices.
“Weeping Angel” is a tool that places a TV in ‘Fake-Off’ mode, making the user think that it is turned off. Meanwhile, the TV continues to record everything and sends it via the internet to a covert CIA server. CIA has also developed malware to steal data from iPhones.
This makes the situation all the more alarming.
The purpose of this blog was not to paint a bleak picture. Instead, it was to give a reality check to privacy-conscious internet users.
Now, although the things may seem depressing, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
VPNs mask your IP address and anonymize your online activities. This keeps you safe from myriads of online threats including government surveillance. VPNRanks evaluates different providers and tells you which ones are the best.
Hence, arm yourself with a capable online privacy tool and surf the web without the government poking their nose in your personal matters.
Author: Yumna Hafeez
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