Monday, September 9, 2013

Privacy Concerns

I haven't kept up with the news lately.  Even when I did, I was much more on top of tech news.  I recently got back into one of my favorite podcasts, Security Now, with Steve Gibson.  What I found surprised me.

I'm speaking of course about the NSA privacy evasion.  Now I admit that I have more research to do, but the case of Lavabit alone should be making us all worry.

Lavabit was a small company that stored your email under encryption.  Over the years they happily complied with court orders to hand over a specific customer's information.  I say "was" because his time they were asked to do something so terrible that they chose to close the company, and shred their customers data instead of complying.  What was that order?  It would be illegal for them to say, so so much for free speech.

I think we could guess that they were given an order to allow the government a back door into all of their customers data.  This is the data they promised to keep private.  Their whole business is there to keep this data private.

Would you start a tech company in America?  Who would trust an American tech company with private data knowing that any company that's still in business is only still around because they're handing your data over to the NSA?  How long will America be on top?

The truth is, when we found out that the government is listening in on overseas phone calls, I wasn't concerned.  That didn't sound too unreasonable to me.  I wouldn't have a high expectation of privacy calling overseas.  I guess we shouldn't have been so lax.

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