TED Conversations

Kareem Fahim


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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...).

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  • Jun 28 2013: Paul Lillebo stated "Rather than starting from the view of outraged individuals (most of the writers here), what if we look at the problem from the other end? Obama is inaugurated, international terror is an actual, serious threat, and the new President is charged with protecting the people of the U.S. against terror groups, some of which have announced that the U.S. is one of their main targets. The people want to be able to fly safely, so how does he go about gaining information on these groups before they commit their acts of destruction? They obviously do their planning by communicating with each other, so how does he get information about their communication?"

    Everything we do in life has some risk. For those with high risk we usually through training, changing the way we do something, or some other means, reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Thinking in terms of risk and risk reduction, this is how a President and our leaders address the issue. The questions to them as with all of us are what is the actual risk and what are we willing to do/give up to reduce it?

    Do you believe that someone or group whether small or large can do something similar to 9/11 unnoticed using methods that do not include scooping up every bit of meta data for every signal sent in space or on line? Using greatly less intrusive collection methods, I believe no one or a group can create the same level of destruction as happened on 9/11. Would I as President take such a risk? The answer is yes. If our leaders were concerned about death, they would have figured out better ways to reduce highway deaths. Each month for decades more people day on the highway then on 9/11. So it isn't the deaths they are concerned about.

    Also, there are numerous means to store this data for their use without it being in the Government hands. So again, I suspect there are other reasons for the collection of this massive amount of data and it isn't just to protect us from the bad guys.
    • Jun 28 2013: Very interesting and thoughtful comment. One risk of the President and other powerfully placed individuals is the sustainability of power. Although the primary objective of the collection of personal information and intrusion of privacy are risks to the people of the United States, I think there is an issue of other, more personal, risks being addressed through these actions. Data and information is a tool of power.

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