Recently, I read an article about how government surveillance has evolved over the years and how the adoption of new technologies and services is aiding it. An interesting point to note was the striking similarity between the government’s version and the ‘tracking‘ done by the private firms for ‘analytical purposes‘ to ‘improve their services‘. While governments have access to sophisticated software and hardware their private counterparts are using the massive amount of trail we leave behind while surfing the internet and Big Data. The advanced data mining capabilities have enabled them to find patterns which you didn’t know even existed. Does this sound like a privacy concern to you?
Debating the rise of these services and their ever growing capabilities, the article draws analogies and references from a good number of books and movies, all of which seem highly promising. Out of the many, one stuck with me. Primarily because the article draws heavily from it. A 1998 movie called, Enemy of the State starring Will Smith. It’s about a Lawyer who gets caught in the government surveillance trap for something he didn’t knew he possessed. The government, true to their part, left no stone unturned to keep an eye on him but ultimately they lose, thanks to Brill (Gene Hackman). The depth of the trace they had on the protagonist was astounding. Those of you who are interested and are always on the look out for some cool cyber fiction do check it out. You can read more about the movie here or you can purchase it from here to experience it first hand.
In 1998, it might have sound far fetched but today, after the disclosure of PRISM program, do you still think it’s pure fiction? Our privacy is dying, an inch every day. Shouldn’t we do something about it?
We should and we certainly can. Stay tuned to know how!
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Uday Mittal (OSCP, Associate CISSP, DCPP) is the founder of Yaksas CSC. He has over 4 years of experience in dealing with various issues related to cyber security. He is actively working towards educating people on cyber security risks and steps to mitigate them. He’s also a member of (ISC)2, ISACA and DSCI.