Sunday, June 23, 2013

Surveillance Update, Netroots Nation, RightOnline and PodCamp

Here is an update on my last post on NSA surveillance.  The magazine MotherJones has posted graphs on how often Google, Microsoft, and Twitter complied with NSA requests (along with other local, state, and federal law enforcement requests for data) for user data with Google (which owns blogspot, and YouTube) being most compliant and Twitter being the least.  

Twitter is often favored by younger users.  Although it is the least compliant it is the most open for anyone to gather metadata.  It would be more revealing to learn how many actual criminals were caught.  While they might not be happy that the NSA has their metadata, the families of Newtown, CT would love to know what the NSA might have on shooter Adam Lanza (he destroyed his computer before going on his rampage) and his mother.

Of course there are other internet domains not listed in this report such as Facebook and Verizon.  Also they do not disclose what was disclosed to the government. The article states that a total of 64,936 unique individuals' data were turned over by those three companies.  This number obviously is the tip of the iceberg.

As reported today by Wikileaks, Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong for Ecuador possibly via Moscow where he has asked for asylum.  This was obviously a hot topic at the annual Netroots Nation conference held in San Jose, CA this year from June 20-23.  It will be in Detroit next year.  Former House Speaker and now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was booed when she talked about Snowden as a lawbreaker.  

NetRoots Nation is a left wing political version of PodCamp where I have presented. RightOnline is the US conservative equivalent to be held Aug 30-31 in Orlando, Fla this year where Sarah Palin has presented.  PodCamp is an apolitical version of these two events held in local areas.  The things learned at these events can be applied to any kind of activism or activity.

What implication does surveillance have for online activists?  If the government believes that monitoring blogs and twitterfeeds like this one will lead to the next Boston Bombing plot it will be very disappointed.  This blog operates in the open, terrorists operate in the shadows.  Edward Snowden operated in the shadows until three weeks ago.


Stephen Colbert has a great take on the search for Snowden.

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