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.

  • Jun 14 2013: I am not comfortable about all the data being collected, but there is not much I can do about it. And the issue has so many different aspects. How can society protect itself - preferentially, without paying much for it? Eavesdropping is cheap, and reliable - to some extent. A key point is the integrity of the collectors. But who shall guard the guards? And the guard cannot always be nice, and often will have to make difficult choices. Society seems to accept a certain amount of crime, or unethical behavior. But where to draw the line? So anyone who calls a criminal can be recorded - which may be a good thing - but also anyone who calls or views porn sites, sexual 'deviants', prostitutes, drug dealers, bookies, psychiatrists, medical doctors. Employers with the right connections - such as especially in small towns - may easily get access to such data. It is already a problem that the Internet does not forget (a recorded prank by a teenager is seen by an employer just before a job interview). NSA data could similarly end up in the wrong hands: other governments (note that both Saddam Hussein and Ben Laden where once allied to the US), cliques in the government, your colleague who is competing for the same position in your organization. They may all use it for blackmail. Knowing about the NSA scheme, one can also fake connections: use someone's else's phone or internet acces to call the wrong people. With these collected data, people can become 'convicted' without being able to explain themselves. It seems that we moved from the 60s society where one could say 'Anything goes' to a society where Baltasar Gracian's remark 297 applies; "Always act just as if there are witnesses. . . . A careful person knows that the walls have ears . . . Who assumes the whole world is watching, does not fear that his neighbours are watching him inside his home." Have we created a God that knows all our sins? Can we go to confession? In the meantime, world population keeps growing . . .

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.