How Does NSA Almost Kill the Internet? (1)

《WIRED》 published a long article that tells the story that after the exposure of NSA massive surveillance activities, the Internet giants Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other technology giants have to confront with the government for their survive.

This is just a start of the chain reaction that will threaten the Internet industry basis. This topic has occupied headlines for months, and has become a hot topic of technology circles discussion. Over the years, technology companies’ privacy policies adopt subtle balance between maintaining the users’ privacy and providing personal data to government agencies. This field is new and is in controversy, sometimes it will erode the existing laws, while in the past, and these companies have made a difficult balance in the progress of promoting the policies. Technology companies suddenly find themselves caught into a fight which’s bigger than a battle involved in over share on Facebook or ads issues on Gmail. Over the past few months, they find that they have to fight with their governments for the future of the Internet.

Joe Sullivan, the Facebook’s security chief said, “We spent ninety minutes to respond.” Nobody’s heard of Prism project. And the worst is that Facebook and other technology companies are claiming to authorize the NSA to directly access to their server to get a huge amount of information, which seems completely wrong. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was shocked by the claim, and asked his executives whether this issue is true. They answered: NO.

Similar panic dialogue also occurs in Apple, Google and Microsoft. Google’s legal counsel Kent Walker said: “We are asked by the people around us: Is there any secret way to get information?” We said: NO.

Nevertheless, the Washington Post launched and described the Prism project. Technology Company quickly issued a statement to deny that they authorized the U.S. government directly into their user database. Because sometimes the secret court will order technology companies to participate in government projects, these projects require them to share data, but they are often reluctant to participate in, and the fact makes the technology’s statement complicated. Google and their partners did not talk about all the details of this issue, this is partly because the laws prevent them from full disclosure, and on the other hand, they don’t understand the government’s actual operational details of this project.

Before President Obama stepped in the issue, they have little time to plan out how to respond to Gellman’s allegations. President implied the Prism project when he responded to the leak problem, he said: “In terms of the Internet and e-mail, the matter did not involve U.S. citizens, nor people live in the United States.” The answer might alleviate some of the public outrage, but it did not play a helpful role for the IT industry. Most users of Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo are non-US citizens. Now these users as well as regulatory agencies are directed to believe that using the services based on the United States means that their data will be directly sent to the NSA.

Technology giants spent years to establish trust which is now at the risk of bursting; however, they seem powerless to do anything for this. Legal restrictions makes them are not at liberty to provide complete documentation of their cooperation with the government, so they can only deny. However, even the most resolute denial – from Google CEO Larry Page and chief legal counsel David Drummond – cannot suppress the query for them. In the Q & A Drummond anticipates in on the Guardian website later this month, his questioner become more hostile:

“Whether this quiz is just a superficial after you are found the collusion with NSA?”

“If Google lies to us, then how can we say?”

“Google, you lost the trust we have given you for ten years.”

“I will stop using Google mail.”

Other companies are also facing such a siege. A company executive said:”Every time we talk about it, it seems that the things will be worse. We are more than not being trusted.”

Facebook’s global communications director Michael Buckley said:”The fact is that the government failed to turn the monsters back into the bottle, we can come up with any statement or statistics, like the government’s weekly routine disclosure, but the problem is that who will believe us? ”

In September last year, Facebook’s Zuckerberg expressed his disgust when attending a technology conference. He said “the government screwed up.” But the government’s actions, and after the world knew the wider information leakage, Zuckerberg, Page, Tim Cook, Marissa Mayer, Steve Ballmer and the other supervisors that have stored user information on their server are in trouble.

More than the revenue is at stake. The concept of maintaining the technology world is also at stake.  The Internet once came from a U.S. Department of Defense project, now it turned into World Wide Web that inspires a new era of civilization. Snowden’s leak questioned the Internet position that is characterized by free expression and authorization. If the network is regarded as an extension of the monitoring means, then the paranoid behavior brought about by it will affect the way people use the Internet. The countries that are angry for the U.S. intelligence agencies gathering information behavior have more reasons to use Snowden’s disclosed information to require U.S. government to stop collecting information, while the U.S. intelligence agencies will not easily give up collecting the information of these countries. Enterprises in the implementation of business activities will make the network Balkanization, destroy its open nature, and thus significantly improve operating costs.

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