Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA surveillance have sparked arguments round the world. How well do you know the story?
In June 2013, newspapers round the world published the first of a flood of revelations about US espionage from documents leaked by the security analyst Edward Snowden. Since then the debate about privacy and surveillance has not let up.
Governments around the world protested at the level of US surveillance of their people, while also it emerged they were carrying out espionage of their own both within and outside the programmes which Snowden had revealed. The largest companies in the industry, including Microsoft, Google and Apple. were all shown to have collaborated with the programmes.
What they could say on the subject has been been very limited, but they have all begun to issue “transparency reports” which set out what they are allowed to say about their involvement with government snooping.
It’s for your own good
Governments have argued that surveillance is necessary for national security but some figures appear to show that the huge dragnet of Internet communication data appears to have had little or no impact on the fight against terrorism.
Meanwhile, strands of the revelations reveal the extraordinary lengths the US security services appear to have gone to in pursuit of information. Among other things, they are alleged to have installed back doors in popular computing and networking equipment, planted radio bugs desguised as routine electronic equipment inside computers, and accessed the private emails of several foreign heads of state.
This is all deadly serious. Government surveillance really does affect us all. But there’s a grim farce to it as well, with Snowden inadvertently sheltering within a country (Russia) whose human rights record is under question, and which has a frosty relationship with the US.
So remember this is important, even if most of you have nothing to worry about beyond what you read on the Daily Mail. But still, lets check your knowledge at a trivial level…
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