PRISM Scandal: Walkthrough

TWALKITOUT: Kavin kumar

It’s never a good news if World’s superpower knows everything about everyone not just within their homeland, but around every corner of the world. Internet, the best evil invented by Humans made this dream a real possibility. And the whole turmoil has got the world glued to the PRISM Scandal.

Remember Aadhar? The ambitious plan of the Government of India to list a billion people in a single database. You might remember that Infy’s co-founder Mr.Nandan Nilekani was made the Chairman of Aadhar team. It raised serious concerns about privacy of Government having the information of every single individual. But there is one Government, not the Government of India, obviously, that knows every single thing about you, even without you knowing such a thing happening.

mail in prismWondering if it is a science fiction? Think not. In this world of Internet, everything is possible. United States’ The Washington Post accessed a highly confidential presentation of the National Security Agency (NSA). The presentation provides details about a project that they code-named as PRISM.

What is NSA?

National Security Agency, NSA, is the agency of the United States’ Government, which accounts for the internal security of the country. After the September 11 attacks on Twin towers, NSA indulged in various activities to curb terrorism inside the country and to prevent the future attacks on USA. They started to even tap the phone calls of suspicious persons even without their consent. One such project was code-named PRISM.

Project PRISM

What exactly is project Prism Scandal? PRISM is an ambitious plan to collect information about each and every person in the world, without the knowledge of anyone. This project started back in 2007 and over the 6 years, it had been maintained as a top secret known only to a few people in the top administration.

Prism presentation

How does it work?

The National Security Agency has asked the web giants, including Google and Facebook, to provide direct access to their servers. Direct access means not even those companies can restrict or filter the content that can be accessed by the Government. How crucial it is? Though originally said to curb terrorism, it provides a serious concern to everyone’s privacy. What if some random person in the United States reads your mail conversation with your sweet heart? What if they see the private photos that your GF messaged you? For biz people, they can see your statement of accounts, and with access to your mail, they have easy access to your bank account as well!

Partners

One of the slides in the presentation clearly shows who are NSA’s partners, providing these data. The first one to join the party is Microsoft, with the latest being the Big Brother of all, Apple. The companies include

  • Microsoft (Including Hotmail)
  • Yahoo!
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • PalTalk
  • Youtube
  • Skype (Now a part of Microsoft)
  • AOL (Including AIM)
  • Apple

Prism presentation

Of the above, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Apple and AOL has come out with a press release stating they know nothing about PRISM. But other news journals of the United States are coming out with strong evidences against these companies. It is a little interesting to see Twitter not in the list.

Impact on India

Everything said here is about the United States. So, here in India, why should we even bother about the news? No need to panic right? If you think so, you are wrong. Be it a like or comment that you make on Facebook, or a simple mail in Gmail, everything goes via their servers in the United States. India is the 3rd largest user base in Facebook with 64 million users. Every detail of them are stored in Facebook’s servers present across the United States. When they give backdoor access to the Government, they virtually know everything.

Unfortunately, most top Government agencies, Educational Institutions and financial institutions, use Google Apps for internal e-mail. If Government of the United States knows what is happening in our power plants, you could imagine how terrible it is.

Remember the guy named Julain Assange, or his project, the Wikileaks? Assange said a year ago (as reported by the Wall Street Journal) that the United States Government is having a backdoor access to the largest Web giants – Google and Facebook. None believed him then. Sadly, now when everyone realizes how cruel it is, there is not even a CTRL+Z to undo them. Once you have given them, there is no way to take it back. We can do nothing except keeping our fingers crossed and believe Google and Facebook might not have given the data.

(personal views of the author, twalkitout.com is not responsible any claims raised  out of any concerns out of the contents of this article)

(photo credits: guardian.co.uk, Twalkitout)

 

 

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Kavin Kumar

If you liked this post, please share it and click the Like FB or Follow Twitter button! Or consider subscribing to my mailing list!! Kavin Kumar is a Mechanical Engineer by education; Software engineer by profession; Blogger by passion. He is the Twitter voice of a popular brand. He writes about Technology and Social Media.

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