Google Blocks Government Surveillance


Encrypted web searches are one way to throw off the NSA, blocking all government surveillance programs, and Google has already began this practice, at least in China. Governments across the world have been stated, through strong allegations, for communistic monitoring; where in the United States it has become a question of Constitutionality. There is a civil war currently being had with national security groups and intelligence agencies, but it is debatably, for the most part, taking place in the digital realm.

Google says this move is part of a global expansion for privacy, which is exactly intended to thwart surveillance by intelligence agencies, police, and hackers. This will not only secure the rights of users across the globe, but it will also make web searches, e-mails and online activity more private, and safer.

China, in particular, has a “Great Firewall,” a censorship system known for its interception tactics of politically sensitive material. Google’s encryption program will make it so that their government will be unable to detect when users search for sensitive material. The Washington Post states the “Dalai Lama” and “Tienanmen Square” as examples. Google will now make these searches an indecipherable string of characters.

There was a discussion today on end-to-end encryption, though Facebook and Twitter stockholders are still reluctant to participate. Recently, however, Twitter has announced consideration. There are services called TextSecure, Telegram, and Threema that somewhat encrypt messages so that they can only be read by the mobile phone users involved in the conversation. So far, Google has taken the largest and most effective step in blocking government surveillance.

Courts have recognized the illegality of eavesdropping over the years. The Patriot Act, an act of Congress, and signed by President George W. Bush in 2001, was an attempt to rush legislation into policy in order to strengthen security protocols after the attack of September 11. Opponents, as early as the bill’s proposal, criticized the clauses for indefinite detention, but with the bill being in effect, it is hard for proponents and those in government who have reaped the power of the act, to now relinquish it. Innocent victims, which have been reported over the years, can be forever incarcerated without a hearing.

The Patriot Act was extended under Obama’s administration. Currently on the department of Justice’s website, the act is stated to allow almost limitless control of  state and federal authorities’ invasion of privacy in an attempt to combat terrorism. Law enforcement is able to surveillance against “more crimes of terror.” Federal agents have been allowed to follow intelligent “terrorists trained to evade detection” among many, many other powers, with dangerously vague, nonexclusive phrasing, granted by the Act.

Snowden speaks through 7 proxy servers, and delayed video, answering questions through Twitter, hashtag #askSnowden. It was discussed that most people will not be taking their own initiative to download apps to protect their privacy, that is a reason for why Google and technical developers need to take the step in protecting their users. More companies might be willing to get involved with this encryption program if users pay for the service. Google’s encryption tactics, blocking the control of government interception and surveillance, is the biggest step thus far in the fight back for individual liberty and personal freedom.

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Opinion By Lindsey Alexander

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The Washington Post
World Meets US

One Response to "Google Blocks Government Surveillance"

  1. slrman   March 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    How ironic that Google claims to be doing this when the entire purpose of their “free” services is to collect as much personal information as they can and then sell it to anyone that asks.

    Perhaps they don’t like competition from anyone, including governments?


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