Before there was the Internet, mainly the Governments and Intelligence Agencies did the spying through:
- Human Source Intelligence (HUMINT). Sources were gathered in various ways, captured enemies, discontented defense employees, family members of enemy officials etc.
- Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Intercepted radio transmissions from the enemy were usually coded and required decryption
After The Internet, not only governments spy, but private companies, and hackers, too. They use:
- Internet Monitoring: capturing data as it travels across the internet toward its intended destination.
- Mobile Phone Monitoring: Mobile phone monitoring technologies capture information transmitted over mobile networks. IMSI Catchers
- Email monitoring and scanning – scanning the emails for keywords
- Intrusion: Intrusion technologies clandestinely deploy malicious software (malware) on mobile phones and computers. The malware, or Trojan, allows operators to take complete control over the target’s device by embedding itself in all system functions.
Why no legislative stops them?
Since the Governments are those who define the laws, they don’t do anything to stop the surveillance because they have some benefits from monitoring their people.
They benefit from it
The government: Has More Control over the people which means More Power.
Both Governments interchange data and they do that with the large companies that have a lot of data on their users. Some of their cooperation include, but are not limited to:
- US government asked Yahoo to scan its customers emails
- FBI asked Apple to unlock the iPhone of a dead terrorist
- Amazon Web Services has $600 million deal with the CIA
- Google’s arrangements with the NSA: the company agreed to provide information about traffic on its networks in exchange for protection
- US government paid Britain’s GCHQ roughly $155 million over three years to gain access and influence over its spying programs.
- The NSA and GCHQ worked together to compromise the anonymous web-browsing Tor network.
And that’s just a fragment.
They profit from it
The Companies: Make More Money from Advertisers which means they get More Power, too.
The Hackers: They steal Personal and Corporate Data to trade and get Money out of it.
What you can do?
Encrypt your online communication and browsing data.
- Use encrypted email
- Use encrypted phone
- Mask your online identity
- Use non-tracking browsers
Growth in the use of encryption
Before the Edward Snowden Revelations there was Very little encryption. Intelligence Agencies had free rein and could listen in on almost any communication they wanted.
He, himself used an encrypted email service, which was shut down due to Government request to hand over users encryption keys.
After Snowden, most of the email service providers started using encrypted user connection with HTTPS. That doesn’t make the emails encrypted, because once they reach the email provider they are not encrypted anymore.
However, the rise in Encrypted email after the Snowden revelations stated growing to be:
- in 2013 - 33% emails encrypted;
- in 2014 - 58% emails encrypted;
- now it is estimated to be over 80%.
So, why don’t join these people and