According to the statement made by the Wikileak founder, Julian Assange internet has been speculated as the most threatening tool that deprives a person of their fundamental human rights and freedom of expression by means of spying actions (smh.com.au, 2017). The practice of procuring confidential and personal information without the knowledge and permission of the holder of the information consists of the act of cyber espionage. Data types comprising of the sensitive, proprietary, classified and personal nature are usually obtained from the individuals, competitors, governments and enemies for gaining advantage under suitable circumstances by virtue of utilizing the cracking strategies and deploying malicious software through internet usage. The perpetration is normally carried out online by computer trained professional spies or by criminal offences by software programmers and amateur malicious hackers. Recent evidences has provided an insight into the National Security Agency initiatives to expand its internet spying at the U.S. borders as a measure to track down the hackers thereby offering the scope for mitigating the internal threats (Savage et al., 2015). Many across the globe have condemned the large-scale surveillance of the Americans carried out by the U.S. government, thereby suggesting that encryption is not sufficient to prevent the unauthorized circulation of data. There have been efforts coming from the powerful web browsers like that of Mozilla that aimed to abate the interception due to information being sent to and from the servers to the third party. The data are generally scrambled to avoid such actions. Thus, the internet and inequality has garnered attention in the recent years as part of the spying process (Gilreath, 2014). With the advent of technology and the rampant usage of internet, the issue of spying has gained even more relevance as the line between disclosure of personal and public information is gradually blurring.
The breach of personal space in one’s life has been argued in the context of cyber crime. The threats are ever increasing with the changing times and scenarios This trend has been attributed to the changing scenarios that drive the alarming threats in the internet. The heightened sophistication of these changing patterns of threats has majorly influenced the social and political governance in the context of various nations. The increased use of the social networking sites such as those of Facebook, Twitter in the virtual world have threatened the safekeeping of the data. Analysis of the public activity by these platforms have thwarted the maintenance of the safekeeping and confidentiality of the data obtained. The increased dependence of the information and communication technology by the users of the modern times has further paved the way for increasing the cyber spying. The business and entrepreneurships management strategies have further suggested the performance of standard risk analysis to highlight the cyber risk issue for the sake of filling in the gap of the research undertaken (Vande Putte & Verhelst, 2014). Further, the exponential growth in the domain relevant to the cyberspace has been explicitly discussed in recent works whereby the issue pertaining to the access to information for all parties involved has been raised. This has raised the threats even more for the professionals and individuals working with the information technology based industry to protect and handle the data in a deft manner. Minimization of the damage and recovery time is also done by means of taking measures appropriate to reduce the vulnerability of cyber attacks. Crimes against individuals, properties, governments or organizations are analyzed by definite means of contemporary preventive techniques through catering to the continuing trends and practices (Arora, 2017). Hence, mitigation of the spying issue calls for greater intervention.
In the era of the internet, the breach of privacy has gained even more prominence whereby the various ethical and legal implications of such misuse have been exposed. In this connection, the case of Edward Snowden, former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency may be cited as a prime example who disclosed many of the classified documents from the National Security agency database without authorization. His revelations brought to the forefront numerous global surveillance programs by the US and British intelligence agencies. This exposed the measures adopted by this organization to crack the online encryption trusted by millions of people across the globe in an effort to protect the privacy of the personal data, emails, online transactions. The most threatening part of these revelations was that the documents came with warnings over the maintenance of absolute secrecy and decryption capabilities. The violation of the online data protection as followed by the various super powers were revealed that in later times prompted the foreign targets to change to newer forms of encryption or communications (Ball, Borger & Greenwald, 2013). The collaboration of the AT&T company, and the U.S. government harbored productive outputs in terms of working in coalition with the American telecommunications companies. This further threatened the internet security of the information provided in the virtual platform by individuals and the governments. However according to the AT&T spokesperson, information is not disclosed unnecessarily to any third party or investigating organization without any proper reason. A vast expanse of the internet communications via the internet cables further strengthens the foreign-to-foreign traffic (Angwin et al., 2015). The hacker, hoaxer, whistleblower and spy issue have been further highlighted in other studies. Thus, the network surveillance programs has been found to monitor the illegal activity by means of noteworthy measures and prudent policies (Coleman, 2015).
Following the stringent measures and policies that were in vogue in the pre-Snowden phase, significant modifications underwent that aimed to address the internet governance. Elevation of internet governance in the realm of high politics has been a debatable topic that requires strict guidelines and competing governance developments. Thus, the incident following the Snowden case has opened up newer avenues for participating in the internet regulatory policy. In this regard, the national governmental regimes adopted by countries like China, Russia, Syria, turkey, Venezuela and Pakistan is of importance as they have asserted stringent national controls (West, 2014). Further studies have highlighted the influence and transformation in information security that revealed the recent measures adopted by the relevant countries to safeguard and protect the rights of the citizens from any foreign surveillance. Furthermore, lessons have been derived from the Snowden incident that the companies must not rely on the internet providers for the management of their data and efforts must be taken to enhance the security systems (Mahmoud & Zeki, 2016). Thus, the recommendations made in order to curb the internet spying issues needs to be confronted in an effective manner with setting up of global consensus to mitigate the issue. The justification behind the government measures and regulations are debated where the concerns over privacy has been overruled. Thus, the question of internet freedom is shrouded in controversy. The notion of confidentiality through anonymity has now been questioned whereby the protection has been designated as a thwarting matter. The efforts and measure of the internet giants like that of Google and Yahoo must come up with novel technologies and strategies to protect the rights of its users without causing any harm. The true purpose of the internet can only be felt if the regulation is properly executed to suit the demands and needs of its clients.
Angwin, J., Savage, C., Larson, J., Moltke, H., Poitras, L., & Risen, J. (2015). AT&T helped US spy on Internet on a vast scale. The New York Times.
Arora, B. (2016). Exploring and analyzing Internet crimes and their behaviours. Perspectives in Science, 8, 540-542.
Ball, J., Borger, J., & Greenwald, G. (2013). Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security. The Guardian, 6.
Coleman, E. G. (2015). Hacker, hoaxer, whistleblower, spy: The many faces of Anonymous.
Gilreath, S. (2014). The Internet and Inequality: A Comment on the NSA Spying Scandal. Wake Forest L. Rev., 49, 525.
Mahmoud, F. Z. M., & Zeki, A. M. (2016). Edward Snowden disclosures turn the fears of surveillance into reality: the impact and transformation in information security. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, 83(2), 173.
Savage, C., Angwin, J., Larson, J., & Moltke, H. (2015). Hunting for Hackers, NSA Secretly Expands Internet Spying at US Border. The New York Times, 4.
Smh.com.au. (2017). Internet is world's 'greatest spying machine': Assange. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 May 2017, from https://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/internet-is-worlds-greatest-spying-machine-assange-20110316-1bwoz.html
Vande Putte, D., & Verhelst, M. (2014). Cyber crime: Can a standard risk analysis help in the challenges facing business continuity managers?. Journal of business continuity & emergency planning, 7(2), 126-137.
West, S. M. (2014). Globalizing Internet governance: negotiating cyberspace agreements in the post-Snowden era.
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