PRISM's Millennial Omens: The War Over the Internet Begins

Anonymous, the hacker group, has just released some PRISM-related NSA documents, and claims that the NSA is spying on citizens of more than 35 countries. Image Source: RT.

The Internet is swirling with reports that America's National Security Agency has 'wiretapped' the Internet and scrutinized people's private messages, searches, phone calls and personal data in the PRISM program. Rumours suggest that Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, Youtube, and Google, among others, are all involved, although these Web giants are sharply denying that.

It started with a leak from the Guardian:
Guardian blogger Glenn Greenwald dropped a bombshell on Thursday [6 June 2013], with a story that showed the National Security Agency was collecting data from Verizon thanks to a secret court order. But that was just the beginning: the Washington Post later revealed an even broader program of surveillance code-named PRISM, which involved data collection from the web’s largest players — including Google, Facebook and Apple — and then the Wall Street Journal said data is also being gathered from ISPs [Internet Service Providers] and credit-card companies.

Leaked cover slide of the US Federal Government's data collection program PRISM (April 2013). Image Source: Wiki via Washington Post.

Leaked slides of the US Federal Government's data collection program PRISM (April 2013), including description of how global Internet traffic passes through the USA. Image Source: Washington Post.

In these days of cyberwar and Big Data, I'm not sure why this is a huge surprise to some. It is the tip of the iceberg in terms of how the Web is being and could be mobilized as a tool of social control. And this is why the counter voice of hackers is so interesting in terms of the evolution of Millennial politics. What hackers will do in response to defend online users - the virtual 99 per cent - and whether they can be trusted to shoulder the burden of power and immense wealth associated with Big Data, without also becoming corrupted, is another story. At any rate, here is an initial list of links to articles and Web debate on the subject:

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