AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Ever heard of PRISM? Turns out the NSA has access to pretty much everything.

Posted by hlg123 on June 7, 2013

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As if the White House needed another scandal, this morning’s news cycle revealed that Verizon, and what one can assume is every other phone company in America, has been giving the NSA unlimited access to our phone data for over a decade. If this revelation isn’t shocking enough (some argue this is simply confirmation of what will), by the afternoon new’s cycle new information had broken about another NSA program, PRISM.

PRISM is an NSA data-mining project that collects user information from some of the biggest tech companies in the world, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple.

I haven’t had time to really wrap my head around what all of this means in terms of privacy, user rights, transparency, etc., but for the purposes of this class, does anyone think this information will substantially impact the platforms that provide information to PRISM? More importantly, will this change how you behave online?

According to news reports, collected phone data does not include the content, but it appears that PRISM has the ability to monitor content, even as you type. Which begs the question, will this fundamentally change the way these platforms are used? So often in our classes we talk about the importance of greater transparency in the way companies communicate with consumers. For many, one of the most successful approaches has been through online interactions. How will fostering greater transparency be done now, when the very transparency of these platforms is now under scrutiny themselves?

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