TED Conversations

Kareem Fahim


This conversation is closed.

Are you comfortable with NSA collecting your personal data?

'Top secret PRISM program claims direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple'

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.


Well, all of us already knew so I don't think it has surprised anyone... but I'd like to know opinions of TED community, are you comfortable with fact that USA Gov. is continuously collecting your personal data?

@People who say 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oAKtBpdZSw


Closing Statement from Kareem Fahim

Majority of people are annoyed by this 'data collection'. Western Govs., defenders of 'freedom' 'democracy' and 'input_word' are mere bunch of hypocrites. Although it is shocking how some people are defending NSA and these faceless entities... (maybe they are 'trolls' or NSA paid users...).

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb

    Epi Jay

    • +3
    Jun 8 2013: I'm afraid to answer this question because the NSA will be accessing this post and don't know which political action will be taken against me :)
    • thumb
      Jun 8 2013: You are expressing a profile that indicates a high degree of fear and uncertainty. I think you bear checking into Epl Jay. Quickly now, have you ever or are you currently involved in any unsightly and EViiiAL, imperious activities we should be investigating?
      • thumb
        Jun 8 2013: I used to be afraid of criticizing the US officially on the web. because I thought that I'd be put on the T.S.A watch list. Therefore I have since long decided that I will only travel to the US if invited by TED or a major organization. Something that would create news if I were to disappear. I really don't trust any part of the US government to be either wise or emphatic, and I don't want to end up tortured for years without any hope for a trial...

        I've read multiple stories on the TSA watch list and people being on it without any reason at all.

        Take a look at this article for example (first one on Google with "TSA watch list child")...
        • thumb
          Jun 8 2013: That's why I never fly Jimmy. :)

          Take a boat then a train then a bus or taxi.

          or, call me and I'll come pick you up and you can stay at my home for free. We have two spare bedrooms for guests. :)
        • thumb
          Jun 8 2013: On second thought Jimmy, you might better hold up where you are for safeties sake:

          It appears our president has declared cyber-war against some nations we consider to be a threat to our national security:

          " The directive states that cyber attacks can be launched as part of "anticipatory action taken against imminent threats," but should comply with U.S. and international law and receive approval from the president if they are "reasonably likely to result in significant consequences," according to the Guardian, quoting President Obama.

          :..reasonably likely to result in significant consequences...." ?

          I wonder if he said that when he gave the go ahead to kill Obama Bin laden?

          This is going to be interesting.
        • Jun 12 2013: Being a U.S. citizen [born here] I can tell you my country has changed. I remember a time when I could go to the airport and fly anywhere without ID. I remember a time when carrying your ID was optional. Now you hear the cry PAPERS PLEASE and I think of Nazi Germany.It seems we Americans have given up sacred rights for the sense of being protected, which we are not. I do not blame you at all for feeling anxious of the US, it has become scary. It has become a police state.
      • thumb
        Jun 8 2013: Yeah, I'll just stay here and keep doing my cyber attacks on you country then ;-P

        What's funny is that they can never tell where a cyber attack is coming from since most hactivists (and terrorists) use TOR or something like that to hide themselves... A program funded by the Swedish state nonetheless (I'm so proud!).
        • thumb
          Jun 8 2013: They use mobile proxy servers. They drive up to your house at night, get on our wireless router and upload the information to their servers and drive away. Before the authorities get the information, the servers are dismantled and taken to another location where they sit, awaiting for the awake code PING! then the process is reenacted all over again. You won't find that information in a cell phone call.
      • thumb
        Jun 8 2013: Are you sure? Do you have any sources for this?

        I know quite a bit of both how computers and governments work and this seems very unlikely so I'd really like some sources on this if you don't mind.
        • thumb
          Jun 8 2013: It's pretty standard operations actually. I've been writing code since 1978.

          A dutch national was arrested in Barcelona recently google that and understand.

          My main point is that many of these communications are not carried out by cell phones. It is only when they are actually carrying out a mission like the Benghazi attack in Libya, that the get down to the cell phone use. By then it's over and done with. they toss the phones away. Setting up this stuff is done with couriers and computer accounts. The safest way to send information is with someone Else's account. If I use your wireless router to send my message, it doesn't read my ip address, it reads yours. If I can gain access to your router, I can erase the fact i was ever there. All wireless routers can be broken into unless you use some kind of unorthodox method to secure it. Every last one in the general public or business world.

          WEP is extremely vulnerable to 'sniffing'. A standard WEP key could be hacked in a matter of minutes (depending on the traffic) WPA2 has finally reached the same level of vulnerability.
      • thumb
        Jun 8 2013: Yeah, WPA2 is very vulnerable, I've hacked into some routers using a simple brute-forcer. I only do it for internet access (and at first to see if I could). But I'm aware of the procedures for sniffing information once you're in. Once you have access to the router you can see all the traffic going on there very easily and play with Facebook accounts or anything that's logged in for example.

        However, when hiding your identity on the web TOR, like I said in my previous post, is the ultimate way to go. It doesn't matter if the information is stored locally if they have no idea where in the world to look for you.

        I checked the case with Sven Olaf Kamphuis... Wasn't really nice of him to DDoS the biggest anti.spam site. and on top of that slow the whole web down...

        But do they really "drive up to your house at night, get on our wireless router and upload the information to their servers and drive away."?. And who are "they" in this case I'm not sure I'm following. But I would very much like some more information and sources on this if you have any...
        • thumb
          Jun 8 2013: It's in regards to a hypothetical situation Jimmy. While some have tried with me personally, I think their sole intention was to check their email. But, it is so easy to do I'm sure any self-serving terrorist will try or is using this procedure to transfer information all the way across the world.

          Now, identity thieves are a different sort.

          Are you aware of Titan?

          In my short life time I have discovered if it's possible in any regard on the internet, someone will use it, especially if it's simple and easy to implement.

          Of course with your and mine abilities it is an easy task to ascertain if someone is trying to hack our routers. Mine is supervised with software I wrote that sounds an audible alarm, when I'm active with the computer. My real protection lies in the fact I turn my computer off if I'm not using it so it can't be hacked and used in any DOS attacks. That is the simplest solution to a whole worlds problems. Don't leave your computer on when your not using it.
          All we have spoken of is on the internet for anyone to read and understand.
      • thumb

        Epi Jay

        • +1
        Jun 8 2013: My only issue with this is that the Obama regime has shown scant respect for politically opposing views; if PRIZM was set up to detect terrorists, what happened in Boston? No, I think this is in the same league as the IRS targeting. It's not trivial to say that this is beginning to remind me of the Nazi regime and other socialist regimes in the world
    • thumb
      Jun 8 2013: I created this post... + I'm Muslim...

      I'm doomed... oh wait someone knocking on door.....

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.