SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— President Barack Obama is directing his national intelligence director to form a panel of outside experts to review government intelligence and communications technologies.
It’s one of the reforms Mr. Obama promised last week to help instill public confidence in U.S. surveillance programs exposed by National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden.
Last week the president said that there could be future technology to prevent the government or anyone else from snooping, but many argue that those technologies already exist.
There are a number of products out there, but none are really guaranteed to protect you from the NSA.
Certainly products like Tor make it possible to avoid being tracked when you are going to websites and it creates anonymous chatting email. Seecrypt is available to encode voice calls and text messages so you can allegedly communicate securely.
But if the NSA really wants to find you they probably would. Government aside I do think these types of programs will become more prevalent because people will become increasingly concerned with companies tracking them for marketing purposes.
The CEO from Lavabit (a company that provided secure email) has implied that he’s under pressure from the government to shut down the service they provide.
I think that part of what President Obama has to do – and he sort of started this on Friday – is to put his prestige behind the notion that people have a right to privacy and the tools to ensure their privacy. It will be interesting to see what his commission recommends. At the same time, I hope that these businesses trying to provide secure communications aren’t harassed by the government and are allowed to pursue their endeavors freely.
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