On Saturday, July 21st 2014, the Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference took place in New York City. It’s a place where hackers discuss ways to improve the society in which we live. One of the more controversial panelists, Edward Snowden, has suggested hackers pool their efforts into creating anti-surveillance technology to decrease government espionage.
There’s a lot of argument among the general public whether Snowden is a national hero or a traitor to the state. In early 2013, he leaked confidential documents that revealed the National Security Agency’s (NSA) involvement in secret government surveillance systems aimed at the general public. At present, he is stuck in Moscow, Russia, where he sought asylum after the U.S. revoked his passport. The U.S. government suggests he should return home and face the music, but he refuses, as he believes it unlikely he would receive a fair trial under the Espionage Act. Instead, he intends to focus his efforts on liberating the United States citizens from government surveillance by working on anti-surveillance technologies in the future.
Regardless of his current situation – being ripped from his country and forced to remain in hiding – Snowden defends his actions against the NSA, saying that we “have a right as Americans and as members of the global community to know the broad outlines of government policies that significantly impact our lives.” Notice how he didn’t say we needed to know the details – he believes that citizens shouldn’t know every confidential detail, rather, he would like everyone to at least know that we’re being watched.
“We can’t have the government shut us out from every action that they’re doing,” he says, pointing out that secrecy isn’t what makes an enlightened citizenry and democracy in the United States.
He doesn’t go into too much detail about the technology he proposes, but the idea itself should be enough to make us consider the repercussions of anti-surveillance technology. What would happen if people could conceal themselves at will from government activity? It could potentially make it extraordinarily difficult for authorities to catch hackers and other cyber criminals. These concerns are genuinely troubling, and should be addressed before any sort of anti-surveillance technology becomes available to the general public.
With Tektonic, there are no secrets or hidden deals. We’ll communicate with you to make sure that your systems are as secure as possible against outside threats. Tektonic will help your business avoid the common attacks that hackers might try to use against you. Give us a call at (416) 256-9928 to see what we can do for your business.
Edward Snowden’s actions have brought out a lot of conflicted opinions from the American people – some think he’s a traitor, while others sing songs about his heroism. What are your opinions, and what do you think about his anti-surveillance idea? Let us know in the comments.