7 ways the world has changed thanks to Edward Snowden

On June 5, 2013, The Guardian and The Washington Post published the first revelations from Edward Snowden about mass government surveillance. (c) Private

On 5 June 2013, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the first shocking evidence of global mass surveillance programs.

We’ve since learned that the USA’s National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have been monitoring the internet and phone activity of hundreds of millions of people across the world.

Two years on, we take a look at seven ways the landscape has changed thanks to the documents Snowden released:

1. We know A LOT more about what governments are doing. For example, we know that companies including Facebook, Google and Microsoft were forced to handover customer data under secret orders from the NSA. And that the NSA recorded, stored and analyzed ‘metadata’ relating to every single telephone call and text message transmitted in Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines.

2. The raised awareness has led to huge public opposition to government mass surveillance. In our poll of 13 countries across every continent, we found that 71% of people are strongly opposed to their governments spying on the internet and phone activity. More than 450 organizations and experts across the world have signed up to ‘necessary and proportionate’ principles on how to apply human rights to communications surveillance. And more than 80,000 people have already signed Amnesty’s global petition to ban mass surveillance.

3. Judges have ruled aspects of these program to be illegal. In the UK, the legal body that oversees the secret services declared aspects of the sharing of intercepted communications between the USA and the UK to have been unlawful before December 2014. And in the USA, a court of appeal ruled in May 2015 that the bulk collection of US phone records was illegal.
7 ways the world has changed after Edward Snowden #UnfollowMe #ThankYouEd

4. Technology companies and software engineers are building privacy into software. Several major companies including Apple, Google and Whatsapp have improved the default security and encryption provided to users. Greater consumer pressure has pushed the industry to strengthen its approach to protecting users’ privacy.

5. Global experts are speaking out against the status quo. A number of international bodies have warned that mass surveillance poses a threat to our human rights. The UN expert on counter-terrorism and human rights said: “The hard truth is that the use of mass surveillance technology effectively does away with the right to privacy of communications on the internet altogether.” What’s more, after overlooking privacy issues for decades, the UN created a new privacy watchdog, or ‘Special Rapporteur.’ This expert will focus on privacy issues both online and offline, including surveillance.

6. Companies are standing up to governments. For example, ten of the world’s largest tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo, have launched a campaign calling for an end to the bulk collection of personal data.

7. Increased scrutiny of the laws underpinning mass surveillance. In the UK, a government committee has called for an overhaul of the laws governing intelligence agencies, so that the whole process would be more transparent. Over in the USA, the House of Representatives passed the USA Freedom Act, which attempts to end government bulk collection of US phone records.

But… governments have done far too little to dismantle their mass surveillance programs.

Many aspects of US surveillance remain under-regulated and unaccountable -including the mass surveillance of millions of people outside of the US. The UK extended its powers in 2014 to retain people’s personal communications data and has further surveillance legislation on the horizon. This year has also seen sweeping new surveillance powers proposed in Pakistan, France and Switzerland while in the Netherlands a new intelligence bill is expected imminently.

Join the fight back
The tide is turning against mass surveillance but our privacy and freedom are still at stake. We need to keep telling governments that our private lives are none of their business. Sign the petition and call on the US government to ban mass surveillance today.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

67 thoughts on “7 ways the world has changed thanks to Edward Snowden

    • Great Article. Thanks for the sharing, I also found a useful service for
      forms filling. Just look at the service edit form (Website).
      Its pretty easy to use. I think you can get a free trial if you ask for it.|Great ideas!

  1. I think we all are hijacked, these spy agencies are breaking our privacy and I really feel insecure after reading that my FB and other accounts aren't safe from NSA. Am I a criminal or have done something wrong? why would I be monitored by these agencies? I think other countries must took action against these agencies, feeling badly insecure now. I don't know what they're going to do my personal pictures that I use to share with my family.

  2. You know if you are not on Instagram, you should be. I know you can't put text up, but just throw in a few pics and build an audience there. I think you'd find a ton of people who would be super interested in your blog here.

  3. To complete any survey or research Data collection and data analysis is most important task for any kind of business or company. on the other hand when we are talking about a reputed online service and website than we must do data research and analysis just because of to collect overview report and making annual report which must be effective and help to improve our work level best.

  4. Hey, I'm a long time fan and reader of your blog, first time commenter. Just wanted to say this post really hit home with the stuff I've been looking into. Thanks man!

  5. It is a nice article. Very nice information. I am looking for more comment on my new blog .Please share more posts with me so i can visit your website again and again.

  6. I'm envious. Seems like every time I come back to your website you have a new interesting thing for me to read. How do you stay so motivated? Do you research all of these posts before posting?

  7. Awesome information, thanks admin for sharing such a great post with us, its really great one. I have found here a good blog having free apps and games for your android smart phones and tablets. .

  8. Nice and wonderful post, it is Very interesting to read. in here great effort done here by admin. i want to visit your site again and again, please keep it up and thanks for sharing this great post.

  9. Its really Interesting information and helpful, I want to visit again and again your website to see more post/articles thanks for sharing such a cool post.

Comments are closed.