Blinding The Surveillance State
Christopher Soghoian Principal Technologist, American Civil Liberties Union
We live in a surveillance state. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies have access to a huge amount of data about us, enabling them to learn intimate, private details about our lives. In part, the ease with which they can obtain such information reflects the fact that our laws have failed to keep up with advances in technology. However, privacy enhancing technologies can offer real protections even when the law does not. That intelligence agencies like the NSA are able to collect records about every telephone call made in the United States, or engage in the bulk surveillance of Internet communications is only possible because so much of our data is transmitted in the clear. The privacy enhancing technologies required to make bulk surveillance impossible and targeted surveillance more difficult already exist. We just need to start using them.
Christopher Soghoian is a privacy researcher and activist, working at the intersection of technology, law and policy. He is the Principal Technologist with the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. Soghoian completed his Ph.D. in 2012, which focused on the role that third party service providers play in facilitating law enforcement surveillance of their customers.