The revelations of Edward Snowden even after a year continues to stun the world, worry corporations and
provide governments with a very real headache.
The paranoid and grossly overreaching actions of the NSA and GCHQ in the short term have badly damaged the legitimacy of the UK and USA governments, greatly undermined business confidence in the safety of data security across the internet, but importantly data stored on systems in the USA and UK mainland. Long term this is having a real impact on business with the UK and USA. It could even ultimately cause more fragmentation of the internet itself, if governments decide to firewall themselves from UK and US snooping.
It makes me angry that many members of the public are content with handing our right to privacy over to government bodies, which have very little or no practical oversight with a remit of storing private data for years on end. Wasting billions of pounds in money, a ton of manpower and causing a huge distraction from the real job of on-the-ground intelligence gathering. That’s the really dismaying element of this brute-force, internet-wide data gathering. The practical outcome has been shown to be next to useless. Just 1.8 per cent of US terror cases were initiated by data gathered with PRISM, (http://bit.ly/LXFNSArates) which begs the genuine question: what is this mass collection actually useful for?
As FOSS and GNU/Linux followers we have the tools and ability available to protect our privacy online, we also have the knowledge that the source code can be checked for malicious backdoors and tampering. It’s at least a more comforting position to be in, which is why we have not just one but two features on how to lock down and protect your data on your desktop, in the cloud and on your Android devices.
Of course, for the less paranoid we have the usual fine selection of practical tutorials, coding skills, reviews, Linux news and a full and open interview with Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu and Canonical’s controversial moves in the Linux world. Enjoy!