Edward Snowden’s leak of details of the PRISM program and more have had serious ramifications throughout the internet.
- Shortly after the Snowden story broEditke, the Daily Online Examiner reported that consumers responded by seeking greater privacy to the expect possible on the web
Consider, privacy company Abine says that downloads of its anti-tracking software spiked by 54% week-over-week, for the seven days ending last Friday. That’s not all: Search engine Duck Duck Go also saw use surge by 55% week-over-week. Duck Duck Go, unlike Google, Bing and Yahoo, doesn’t keep logs tying users’ IP addresses to their search queries.
- The Snowden affair could be used against U.S.-based internet companies, as Germany’s Interior Minister has warned
whoever fears their communication is being intercepted in any way should use services that don’t go through American servers.
The revelation also could have fallout as to efforts by the EU to tighten their privacy standards in a way that restricts flow of information to the U.S.
- To the extent the Snowden affair scares consumers aware from the internet, that could have a huge economic impact given the importance of e-commerce to economic growth.
- The Snowden affair has linked PRISM and Big Data in a Big Brother bear hug, sparking calls for greater privacy regulation. FTC Commissioner Julie Brill said that
Americans are now more aware than ever of how much their personal data is free-floating in cyberspace, ripe for any data miner – government or otherwise – to collect, use, package, and sell. . . . [I]t took Snowden to make concrete [that] firms or governments or individuals, without our knowledge or consent, and often in surprising ways, may amass private information about us to use in a manner we don’t expect or understand and to which we have not explicitly agreed.
Brill seized this opportunity to push her “Reclaim Your Name” proposal and Do Not Track as a tandem response to Big Data.
- Undermined the Obama administration’s efforts to press China on cyber attacks, by allowing China to use Snowden to deflect criticism or muddy the waters. The US is trying to draw a bright line between conducting espionage and commercial espionage to aid Chinese businesses.
As Rep. Dutch Rupperberger (D-MD) stated,
We’re not stealing information, business records, patents and everything else Every country has security, every country has intelligence. But when you start stealing private information, that’s a different story.
More Info: NSA News Drives Consumers To Seek More Privacy Protection, Daily Online Examiner; Snowden Revelations Imperil Cyber-Hacking Talks with China, The Hill; PRISM Fallout: U.S. Internet Companies Stained By Intelligence Actions, Read Write Web; The Economics of PRISM and the Internet, Huffington Post