NSA Spying Scandal
We live in a world with latest communication and surveillance equipment available to security agencies all over the world. Privacy protection is a major concern today all over the world and the NSA spying scandal that was in the news recently reaffirmed the need for better privacy protection for citizen of different countries all over the world. PRISM is believed to be the name of the mass electronic surveillance data mining program which was operated by the NSA or National Security Agency in the United States of America. PRISM program by the NSA began in 2007 and was brought out in the open by the now famous NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Various types of communications details of people from all over the world were under surveillance in this program and this alleged includes live communication of senior government officials of foreign countries.
Details of the Scandal
The scandal came to light when Edward Snowden released disclosures which were then published in The Guardian and The Washington Post in the June of 2013. PRISM and other related surveillance programs of NSA then came into serious criticism from people from United States and also governments and citizens of foreign countries. Internet communication, phone communication and social media communication was brought under the surveillance of the NSA under this program. This mass surveillance was carried out over years and details of this surveillance were published by major news outlets as well as Wikileaks. Surveillance allegedly took place not just on unfriendly governments but on leaders of governments that were quite friendly to the United States. It was brought out that the NSA was spying on world leaders like Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor and government departments of Brazil, France, India, Mexico and organizations like the European Union and the United Nations. Communication records and details of over a billion people were accessed by the NSA during this surveillance process including domestic communications of American citizens as well as communications of citizens of different countries all over the world.
This scandal has been highly damaging to international relations of the United States with countries from all over the world. Bilateral relations of the United States with countries like China, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain and also its relationship with the European Union has suffered strain due to this scandal. This scandal has also led to straining the ties between countries like Australia and Indonesia. Privacy is important in today’s world and such scandals showcase how vulnerable the common man in the world today really is.