REVOLVING DOORS & BACKDOORS

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REVOLVING DOORS & BACKDOORS

While the Privacy debate rages at the highest pitch, the companies guaranteeing privacy from the rooftops, the hapless user is super confident of his data, the harsh reality is either data is passing through revolving doors between govt. & the corporates or the hardware & the software have back doors. Vast public – private surveillance partnership is a reality. In US, in 2010, 1,931 different corporations worked on intelligence, counter terrorism & homeland security. 70% of the US Intelligence budget goes to private firms. This mammoth machine decides the fate of the data.

National Security Agency, NSA, did not build up this mechanism from scratch. It tapped into corporate resources who were already in this trade. Through the infamous PRISM program, legally compels IT companies; Microsoft, Apple, Google et al to provide data on thousands of individuals of interest. It also hacked corporations’ infrastructure without permission. Through TEMPORA program, UK’s GCHQ, pays telecom companies BT, Vodaphone etc to provide access to bulk communications globally.

Post 9/11, US govt. bought data from data brokers like Torch Concepts – air passenger data&ChoicePoint – database of Mexican voters. UK Govt. proposed to sell taxpayers data in 2014. Illinois, Ohio, Texas & Florida sell drivers data to private buyers inclusive of photographs. Surveillance at the end of the day means that lots of data moves back & forth between govts & corporations.REVOLVING DOORS!

Govt commandeering is also done through subversion. NSA’s BULLRUN & GCHQ’s EDGE-HILL was to subvert Internet cryptography. SSL encryption made things difficult. Backdoors are turning out to another stealth mode to access data. It’s believed that Chinese govt. embeds eavesdropping capabilities in all networking equipment sold by its company Huawei. British, Israeli, Russian & French govts are also suspects. Inserting backdoors seems rampant.

REVOLVING DOORS & BACKDOORS HAVE FURTHER CONFOUNDED THE PROBLEM OF CYBER SECURITY.

Sanjay Sahay

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