Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Nautilus - The Uncertainty Baked Into NSA Surveillance - and the Internet

Online Article: The Uncertainty Baked Into NSA Surveillance - and the Internet

  • Consider claims/arguments and counter arguments, factoring in multiple perspectives, balancing reasons with evidence. You will use the article above as a starting point to brainstorm ideas for a class debate.
  • Keep a keen focus on document validation strategies and fallacies. 
  • Post possible debate topics on the blog.


  1. This article talks about a secret project of the government called PRISM, which gave NSA and other security agencies access to famous internet servers' data. The internet companies claim they had no direct participation in this, however an anonymous report shows they were indirectly linked.

    Us users are cautioned of our privacy being accessed by the government or a higher authority before we sign up for an account or operate an app, yet we continue to do so.

    I don't think the government should have the right to invade others' privacy unless they have a legitimate reason and/or a warrant for it. And if so, the person should be notified for it, in which case they should be cooperative in the matter of national security.

    However, as it says in this article and in the article "NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others"by James Ball and Dominic Rushe, almost all of the internet companies denied that they had any part in this program. But from a leaked report we know that they did have some control over it. After knowing this, should we be able to trust these companies with our private information? And for those who have already been violated of their privacy, would it allow them to take any legal actions against their servers?


    1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1540-4560.t01-1-00009/full

    2. Does surveillance in high schools enforce good or bad behaviours in teenagers?

    3. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=14&sid=9e9e4397-ae4e-4cba-8590-05e684f2ca1e%40sessionmgr120&hid=124&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=101203781&db=a9h


    4. To what extent should schools have surveillance over students?

    5. Is the extent to which schools have digital surveillance over students overdone?

    6. http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=49234512&S=R&D=a9h&EbscoContent=dGJyMNLe80Sep7c4yNfsOLCmr0%2BeqLFSsae4SbeWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGrsE%2B1rLFJudfue9%2Fm8Yzt5ONT497ti%2FIA


  2. The article given talks about a U.S federal “digital-surveillance program“ called PRISM, which gives the government access to data that travel through popular digital services like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Said companies have spoken out and have stated that they have not given the program access to data. Although PRISM does not get its info directly from the companies, the program allows “collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,” rather than directly to company servers.”. Essentially the data is collected indirectly rather than directly.

    With this new information, many are blaming the companies as its from their serves that the information is from, but is the collector not the National Security Agency? Are they not to blame? The NSA are the founders of this project, the same project that this uproar is based upon. The government as many of us know, do have access to quite a bit of our information(although many Americans disapprove) and now a lot more but we don't as much about them. Should we be able to know as much about the NSA as they know about us ? Would it be ethical to exploit their privacy,or would it exploits ours even more?

    I believe that we should know more about the NSA and that we should know when and how they use our personal information and that they should do so without our permission, But at the same time we should be able to have a clearer description of how the NSA and popular digital companies work hand in hand together to get the information that they have.




  3. The article talks about PRISM, the US federal government’s surveillance program. This program gives the NSA access to data, emails, chat etc. One question that has emerged from the leak of this information is how the government has been getting the information. Have the internet companies been giving the government “back door” access or if agencies took the data on their own by grabbing it “upstream” from the companies taking advantage of the gov access. A presentation leaked and it said that PRISM included data directly from the US service providers and companies like Apple and Facebook since denied this claim.

    If the US surveillance is like this, how does Canadian surveillance compare? Is the government just as secretive or worse?

    My assumption is that Canada is just as secretive and possibly working with the US. Whether we like to admit it or not, there are a lot of things to work on related to the government and surveillance is one of them.



  4. The article The Uncertainty Baked Into NSA Surveillance—and the Internet talks about the surveillance system PRISM. The article says that this surveillance program allows NSA and other agencies unprecedented access to data, like emails and chats, going through popular services owned by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and other Internet giants. When asked if the companies are supporting these agencies by providing these agencies with a "back door" the chief security officer of Facebook said they don't provide any government organizations with access to their servers, while Apple's spokesman said they have never heard of PRISM.

    This article brings me to question the what extent do school's have access to their students information when they are connected to the school WiFi or using the school provided log in information.

  5. The article The Uncertainty Baked Into NSA Surveillance-and the Internet addresses NSA surveillance using PRISM, a theoretical system that collects data directly from company servers. The article goes on to elaborate that PRISM may collect information using external hardware without the knowledge or permission of the company servers being used. The NSA, along with many other tasks, have the responsibility to protect the citizens of the United States. This reminded me of the much more commonplace use of surveillance in local law enforcement. More specifically, the surveillance that is meant to stop the law enforcement from overstepping their bounds, which the NSA is accused of in the article. But what do these measures actually accomplish? The use of police body-worn cameras is said to enforce accountability and transparency, but what, if any, consequences could come as a result of the surveillance of police dealings with the public?

    1. Armed with Technology: The Impact on Fatal Shootings by the Police
      Min-Seok Pang and Paul A. Pavlou

      Barak Ariel, William Farrar, Alex Sutherland

  6. The article The uncertainty Baked into NSA Surveillance- and the Internet speaks to the PRISM program used by the NSA. PRISM is a system where the data from large internet companies such as google, or microsoft are being extracted by the NSA. The article explains how most of the large internet companies are unaware of the data that is being siphoned from them. Because the NSA is in charge of the security of the country they use this to justify wat they are doing. Yet the internet connects the world. Therefore if one uses the "large internet companies" services in a different country then the NSA has access to that data as well. Even if you are in Canada this ongoing serveillance affects you, even if you are unaware of it. To truly speak to this issue more information is needed on questions such as: what does the NSA do with this data? What are the justifications to collect data on individuals? And who gets to regulate what gets collected? before one can truly speak to the issue.

    To what extent do internet users truly have "private" data?




  7. The article talks about the U.S. federal government’s no-longer-secret digital-surveillance program named PRISM. This project allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) and other agencies unprecedented access to data, like emails and chats, going through popular services owned by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and other Internet giants. Thus summarizing that these Internet giants may directly be assisting the government in gaining our personal information. However, due to lack of evidence we cannot make a clear assumption. But to some degree we are aware that government does have access to our personal data on search engines such as Google or Yahoo.
    Here are some links that might help us decide whether this is true or not:

  8. The Author of The Uncertainty Baked Into NSA Surveillance--and the Internet, Amos Zeeberg, is a free-lance scientific journalist. Had he analyzed his own validity in the form of an article, he would most likely incorporate the use of fallacies such as the Bandwagon, Appeal to Authority, and a Slippery Slop in cohorts with Genetic components, seeing as he is such a fan of their incorporation within this 2013 article. Wait. Hold on. The CRAAP test alert just went off. June 10, 2013 was three and a half years ago, right? Those reading this article today, unaware that this information has not been updated or revised since it's original date of publishing. That raises a flag, but let's continue. I'm sure it's fine.

    Zeeberg strikes a position of conviction toward authority, in an attempt to gain the trust of the reader. In a strange and twisted sense, the Appeal to Authority fallacy is engaged through the establishment of distrust within the authorities mentioned. This fallacy is pushed to a point of reversal as Zeeberg forces the reader to question the reliability of establishments such as the FBI. When unable to trust familiar and recognized control centers, when the reader is scrambling to find purchase in someone to believe in, they musn't look far, for Amos Zeeberg is here to guide the lost.

    (Extra Idea Note: Slippery Slope alongside Genetic fallacies.)

    1. Debate idea: Does a true scholarly source actually exist?

  9. With the unveiling of the once secret NSA surveillance program codenamed “Prism”, many questions lie in wait to be answered that were not answered in their 41 slide powerpoint. Among these questions lies a bundle of horribly tangled information and misinformation that makes it hard to decipher what is what. Though one piece of information is true and that is that the NSA is collecting everything and anything they can get their hands on. Any data they can grab they do and this has been confirmed across several sources including the washington post, the guardian, and the NSA website (although not plainly stated).

    Two parts to a debate question:
    The first being to what extent should they (NSA) be accessing this data
    And the second being whom should have access to view this data

    ~~not complete




    1. ~41 should be written as forty-one

    2. https://scholar.google.ca/scholar_case?case=13987610465347808803&q=prism+surveillance+program&hl=en&as_sdt=2006

      ~This link provides excellent evidence for the topic above, however it is hard to "decode" as it is a raw government document

  10. In this article, we learn of the US government's no longer secret, online surveillance program called PRISM. This organization was originally created in order to target foreigners, however, it turns out it is collecting data from Internet giants such as Google and Microsoft. Though there is a lack of evidence, this article explains how these large companies were unaware of the siphoning of their user's information by the NSA, who uses PRISM. These large data companies not only have access to information in the US, but can receive information from countries all over the world, including Canada. We are constantly being surveilled, whether we are aware of it or not. What is the government, the NSA in particular, do with the information they collect from these online servers? Is it possible to truly have "private" information online?


  11. http://time.com/4062552/snowden-plea-offer-interview/

  12. In this article we are brought into the digital world of SURVEILLANCE, where the government agency The NSA or the national security agency,compiled a program that was intended to high jack a lot of the major internet carriers such as google and bing and use them to research search history on certain questionable characters. There were companies that denied that they had any involvement in this program. Which if so means that the NSA is violating a lot of privacy rights of certain companies and individuals. So this raises questions such as where is the stolen data going, how much do they know and who is considered "questionable"




    1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/

  13. In the article "The uncertainty Baked into NSA Surveillance", the internet and the PRISM program used by the NSA are closely interconnected with each other. Prism is a system where the data from large and popular internet companies such as google, or Microsoft, etc are being extracted and used by the NSA on there behalves. According to the article is said that these internet companies are unaware of the NSA having access to there data, and NSA is in charge of the countries security. The issue that the articles talks about is that because the internet is interconnected with other countries so NSA has data from and for all the countries in the world. To what extant is having/ giving someone your data without consent acceptable?

  14. The article “The uncertainty baked into NSA surveillance - and the Internet” talks about a surveillance program named PRISM. This program allows the NSA to access data from the Internet giants like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc. Some things PRISM gives access to are “email and chats” that go through the famous servers. However, these Internet companies claim to be unaware of the PRISM program, and have stated that they do not provide anyone any access of information. According to the NSA’s inspector general, PRISM doesn’t get its information “directly”, instead PRISM gets its information through the “equipments hooked directly to those servers”. Based on the article, the unawareness of the Internet companies for PRISM lies in the fact that it is “highly classified” and only certain people from each of the companies know about it.

    What kind of information does the NSA obtain and how/what is this information used for?

  15. The article “The Uncertainty Baked into NSA Surveillance—and the Internet” talks about PRISM, a surveillance program used by the NSA to collect massive amounts of data that travels through the servers of multiple internet giants, for example, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, etc. According to the article these internet giants do not provide the NSA with a “back-door” into their data, but instead the NSA extracts this data from their servers by grabbing it “upstream” from the companies without their permission, using the governments access to the internet to their advantage.
    Debate Topic: Do the benefits of having government surveillance programs outweigh the harms?

  16. This article discusses the U.S. surveillance program, PRISM, which provides agencies access to personal data. The idea of surveillance can be applied to Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)and it’s impacts on people in public places.

    A public place is a large social sphere, where one is on display for masses of people, having no control over who they will meet. A big debate exists discussing protection versus privacy. Privacy rights are important because they give a person autonomy and control over their identity. Simply being watched changes one’s behaviour, in a hasty need to conform to the expectations of those around them. A public space provides anonymity, which is a specific type of privacy. Individuals are unknown to those around them and can reveal what they desire in a public place, giving different aspects of identity. A public space provides autonomy, allowing one to interpret the world around him or herself, and make judgements accordingly. When CCTV is introduced, individuals act with constraints, not allowing anonymity and autonomy.
    The idea of privacy is seductive, because it gives power to the person in control of it, once again reminding people of the imbalance of power between them and the state.

    Is privacy more important to a society than protection? Why or why not?
    Can CCTV be placed into public spaces without a shift of power?
    Should autonomy and anonymity be preserved by not telling the public of CCTV cameras? What are the ethical limitations to do so?