Government Spies on Digital Services — The Bigger Risks

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Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia, providing users personal and identity information.

The New York Times has a good write-up.

The same can happen with cryptocurrency exchanges, online services, and all manner of digital social media sites.

The concern I have with certain nation states is how they are using such information. During Arab Spring, some governments were harvesting social media meta-data to identify protesters and then visit them in the night.

We need to ask ourselves, why would a would nation invest in insider spies of Twitter to gain real identity information of users? The likely answer is to harass, persecute, and potentially assassinate dissidents or those who publicly criticize regimes.

Take a moment to let that sink in. Data from Twitter, Facebook or other social sites may be abused by nation states and contributing to human rights violations.

We in the U.S. look at such sights as folly and entertainment, but in some parts of the world it may make you disappear into the night. Privacy and information security have real consequences in today’s connected digital world.

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