>It has been nearly two years since the first disclosures of government surveillance programs by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and citizens around the globe are still coming to terms with how they feel about the programs and how to live in light of them. The documents leaked by Snowden revealed an array of activities in dozens of intelligence programs that collect data. The documents further detail the collection of Web traffic around the whole planet.
Some people have changed their behaviors in response to surveillance but the majority sleep and walk in a deep living ignorance.
The documents Snowden leaked about the NSA suggest that large American information technology companies are compelled to share data with the government about foreign individuals as part of a program called PRISM. Data about Americans’ use of communications and search engine tools may be collected “incidentally” when related to foreign intelligence. Under the same authority, the government can tap directly in to fiber optic cable networks that transfer data about virtually everything a user does on the Web and other internet-based platforms.
The Western intelligence agencies have argued in courts that bulk collection programs including data about Americans are crucial to its national security efforts. Still, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent panel appointed by the White House, suggested that bulk surveillance did not help prevent any attacks in the United States or elsewhere, and recommended discontinuing bulk collection of American phone metadata.
Citizens are comfortable targeting others for surveillance, but not themselves.
Although nowadays more citizens are adopting specific online strategies to hide their information from the government.
Some have taken relatively simple steps to make their activities more private, but just a fraction have taken more sophisticated steps.