The electronic surveillance programme of the U.S. National Security Agency with the secret cooperation of major telecom operators and Internet companies is disturbing (“Under cover of darkness,” June 9). More disturbing is the fact that India is also heading in the same direction. That the major American Internet companies have pleaded ignorance of the existence of the secret programme even as the President has acknowledged it is amusing. With the Internet and social media becoming routine in our daily lives, and monopolised by American firms, the rest of the world feels helpless as there are not many viable alternatives to choose from.
Although the U.S. may have got a billion pieces of intelligence from computer networks in a month, the recent attacks in Boston and London by lone wolfs indicate the limitations of the programme and the challenges of eradicating terrorism.
The revelations show why the U.S. is still the boss. Most of the tech giants are U.S.-based firms and there shouldn’t be any doubt regarding their obedience to their country. PRISM is a breach of privacy of those who are increasingly becoming slaves of technology.
American clandestine activities are not new to us. Other countries should come together to convince the U.S. that the big brother attitude will not be tolerated in all domains.