by Malte Granderath, Steven Abreu, Regina Velazquez, Matius Chairani
What does Surveillance mean?
The official definition of surveillance is:
“close watch kept over someone or something”
Nowadays surveillance is often closely related to the internet. Many people know that the national security agencies will do anything to protect the citizens. With the increasing use of social media and the collection of large amounts of data this means that personal data is accessible a lot easier than before the modern age.
PRISM is a surveillance program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects data of internet transmission from more than 9 US internet companies. It was a secret program till 2013 when a whistleblower informed the media.
As we can see from the above figure, some of the most popular internet services had to give their collected information to the NSA. For many internet users, Google is their main hub when opening their web browsers.
If requested the providers have to give out:
- Stored data
- File transfers
- Logins etc.
- Special Requests
The United States actually surveil more than just US citizens since more than 70% of the world’s internet transmission travel through US servers.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
Is a public safety system that allows owners of certain smartphones to receive geographically targeted messages about imminent threats.
Can have the following reasons for issuing:
- Presidential Alerts
- Imminent Threats – includes severe man-made and natural disaster where a threat to life or property exists. For example tornadoes or shooting.
- AMBER Alerts – help law enforcement to search for and locate a kidnapped child
Chicago Long Term Evolution (LTE)
Is a public safety program that allows first responders to see the recordings of up to 25,000 cameras in Chicago, as well as crime mapping and sensors. It was funded by Homeland Security and was tested for 12 weeks.
Many people were concerned with privacy since this allowed the police to look at any live camera all throughout the city. People were concerned about what could happen when someone would abuse this system.
Right to be Forgotten