By Essienubong King
Excuse the informality, but the U.S government has no “chill button” when it comes to giving privacy to their citizens. According to the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), the United States government, with aid from top service providers, has been involved in carrying out “illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans.”
The problem with this issue is the lack of utter privacy for individuals in USA. National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts phone calls and internet communications; states EFF. Furthermore, instances include hackers tapping into “ webcams on private citizens’ personal devices to spy on them;” Yahoo discloses.
As stated by Yahoo, FBI Director James Comey urges the use of tapes over webcams as a safety method of shielding individuals from unwanted scrutiny. Based on information from Comey, Yahoo mentions FBI’s fight with Apple over “access to encrypted information about the tech company’s users.”
According to Comey, after privacy advocates accused him of hypocrisy, he said “absolute privacy” would affect the law enforcement’s deputation to ensure public safety. Additionally, he said “people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security.”
In 2006, EFF acquired evidence from former “AT&T technician Mark Klein showing that AT&T is cooperating with the illegal surveillance.” The obtained document revealed “emails web browsing and other Internet traffic to and from AT&T customers and provides those copies to the NSA.”
FBI Director revealed, government institutions have taken steps to protect the privacy of their employees. However, activism organizations such as the EFF, “champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development.”
In the United States, absolute privacy is currently a privilege. Individuals who rely on electronics to carry out daily tasks are not guaranteed total safety. The land of the free does not offer total privacy to its people.