How Much Access Does the Government Want from your Gadgets?

By Frank Griffin November 27, 2012

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four introduced many concepts that gave the government in Oceania unlimited powers regarding its citizens. Although it’s a work of fiction, Orwell was able to see how information could be used to keep track of everyone.

Every time you text, e-mail, tweet or call your closest friend, family member, lover or coworkers, you’re putting your thought out there – susceptible to interception by government organizations or anyone with the right know how. The question is how much access, if any, the government should have to your digital communique.

If you’re like most Americans, the answer is “none,” but the government begs to differ, and it wants to pass laws to ensure it can gain more access to this information whenever it wants – if it feels the need to do so warrants it.

The government is increasingly using different methods to track it citizens. In the past two years the percentage the Justice Department received for authorization to access e-mail and network data on individuals increased by 361 percent. At the same time, the number of court orders for pen registers, and trap and trace devices on phones, increased from 25,535 in 2009 to 37,616 in 2011, while cell phone carriers received 1.3 million demands for information about their subscribers in 2011.

The amount of request and court orders being granted to government agencies means the data is already being accumulated. Whether you’ve given service providers permission is irrelevant, because the ability to intercept the information from your device is built into the phone company’s call routing hardware.

If you are online surfing, the same tool used for analytics provides detailed information about your online activities, and it can be used against you in a criminal or other type of examination.

The U.S. Senate will be debating whether to grant police officers more authority to search through your e-mail without warrants this week, and as horrific criminal cases validating the violation of these fundamental rights are highlighted in the news, it’s only a matter of time before our namby-pamby members of congress are swayed to vote for the outcome that doesn’t take the protection of our privacy and freedom into consideration.




Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

How Do the Year's Threat Predictions Match Reality?

By: Special Guest    8/24/2016

Last year, Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs global threat research team made a series of predictions about cyber threats in 2016. We are now halfway through…

Read More

Automakers Invest in Wearable Tech Pilot Programs

By: Lindsey Patterson    8/24/2016

The advent of wearable technology has recently generated a number of creative products. Consumers check for email messages using "smart" watches and i…

Read More

AI's Major Role in EU's New Data Privacy Regulations

By: Special Guest    8/23/2016

Earlier this year, the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation - landmark legislation addressing data protection and privacy conc…

Read More

Broadband Delivered by Fiber Proves Better than Alternatives

By: Doug Mohney    8/23/2016

We're a couple years out on an unprecedented boom in broadband, with new wireless schemes, 5G, high-flying drones and constellations of satellites cov…

Read More

BYOD Could Mean Bring Your Own Disaster

By: Special Guest    8/22/2016

As adoption of wearables becomes more mainstream in the Middle East, it brings added complexity to BYOD in an enterprise. One of the more interesting …

Read More