Upstream Collection

The collection of our data over the internet by the NSA is what we call upstream collection. It is a data collection method used to record information sent through the web, mainly tracking communications. Using upstream collecting, activity can be tracked and monitored and can help figure out tendencies of internet use as well as personal information such as location or identity of the user. This impacts the way we use the internet every day because it means that every time we are communicating over the internet, we are being watched. So, each text or post that we send can be monitored. It reduces the amount of privacy or anonymity that we can have on the internet.

The NSA uses this process of upstream collection through utilizing fiber cables which are used to transmit data between computers. There is a whole US system of underwater fiber cables that also travel around the world and make up majority of worldwide internet connections. The actual collection process allows the NSA to collect any information through communication in these fiber cables as the data passes through. The NSA has the ability to collect this data as it passes through its system, and gather information from it through methods such as pattern analyzing, or simply listen in on communications. Upstream collection typically is utilized for transmissions that involve a foreign country. Websites such as Wikipedia, Cnn.com, Gmail and Facebook have been listed as targets for upstream collection. Some of these sites like Wikipedia allow people to post anonymously, but the NSA can still find information. These companies, under government agreements, allow the NSA to take content from their sites, which can give access to other types of data and communication forms.

Wales and Tretijkov make arguments that the NSA is a violating our fourth amendment right (the right to privacy) as well claiming the NSA also violates our first amendment right (the right to freedom and expression). The two authors thirdly argue that the NSA’s practice violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They make pretty good points about the NSA overstepping their bounds. They use an example of Wikipedia and how upstream collection of data from Wikipedia is hurting the website and thus limiting the amount of information we can get. Wikipedia users, especially in foreign countries, may be scared to write an article or add information for the fear of being tracked down. People want to write in private so they do not receive criticism by other Wikipedia users or even criticism by their own government. People want to write in anonymity and upstream collection eliminates the privacy many desire.

I have to agree with the authors on this point. It is not a good thought to know that everything I send or do on the internet could be tracked. Edward Snowden, the man who leaked inside information on the NSA and this issue, said the NSA could know “nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet.” This is extremely alarming. I also agree with them on the point that people may be scared to post important information for fear of negative consequences from the government. I am aware the NSA has a job to do and they are trying to protect our people, but it is too worrisome just how much information, and exactly what information they have access to. It is not within American values to “spy” on the US or even foreign people. The collection of our data over the internet by the NSA is what we call upstream collection. It is a data collection method used to record information sent through the web, mainly tracking communications. Using upstream collecting, activity can be tracked and monitored and can help figure out tendencies of internet use as well as personal information such as location or identity of the user. This impacts the way we use the internet every day because it means that every time we are communicating over the internet, we are being watched. So, each text or post that we send can be monitored. It reduces the amount of privacy or anonymity that we can have on the internet.

The NSA uses this process of upstream collection through utilizing fiber cables which are used to transmit data between computers. There is a whole US system of underwater fiber cables that also travel around the world and make up majority of worldwide internet connections. The actual collection process allows the NSA to collect any information through communication in these fiber cables as the data passes through. The NSA has the ability to collect this data as it passes through its system, and gather information from it through methods such as pattern analyzing, or simply listen in on communications. Upstream collection typically is utilized for transmissions that involve a foreign country. Websites such as Wikipedia, Cnn.com, Gmail and Facebook have been listed as targets for upstream collection. Some of these sites like Wikipedia allow people to post anonymously, but the NSA can still find information. These companies, under government agreements, allow the NSA to take content from their sites, which can give access to other types of data and communication forms.

Wales and Tretijkov make arguments that the NSA is a violating our fourth amendment right (the right to privacy) as well claiming the NSA also violates our first amendment right (the right to freedom and expression). The two authors thirdly argue that the NSA’s practice violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They make pretty good points about the NSA overstepping their bounds. They use an example of Wikipedia and how upstream collection of data from Wikipedia is hurting the website and thus limiting the amount of information we can get. Wikipedia users, especially in foreign countries, may be scared to write an article or add information for the fear of being tracked down. People want to write in private so they do not receive criticism by other Wikipedia users or even criticism by their own government. People want to write in anonymity and upstream collection eliminates the privacy many desire.

I have to agree with the authors on this point. It is not a good thought to know that everything I send or do on the internet could be tracked. Edward Snowden, the man who leaked inside information on the NSA and this issue, said the NSA could know “nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet.” This is extremely alarming. I also agree with them on the point that people may be scared to post important information for fear of negative consequences from the government. I am aware the NSA has a job to do and they are trying to protect our people, but it is too worrisome just how much information, and exactly what information they have access to. It is not within American values to “spy” on the US or even foreign people.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/guide-what-we-now-know-about-nsas-dragnet-searches-your-communications

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.