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'Government Surveillance is Horrific Nowadays and It Should Be Addressed'

CC0 / / Personal data
Personal data - Sputnik International
If one has ever wondered where his online data goes, a pop-up exhibit in New York called The Glass Room is a good place to start. It is aimed to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the way personal data is used for profit. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Marek Tuszynski, Creative Director & Co-Founder of Tactical Tech.

The Glass Room contains fifty four artifacts arranged in four categories, from personal data collection to government-sanctioned surveillance methods. It will also host workshops on digital security and surveillance, teaching how to encrypt emails, track ones own data, and lighten a digital footprint.

“The exhibition shows how we as users are ready to go in sharing our intimate, body-related secrets. We look at the big companies that are making a lot of money [gathering information about us], such as Google, Facebook and others. We made a model of the Mark Zuckerberg house that he bought a few years ago and four other nearby houses for over $42 million. He bought them to protect his privacy,” Marek Tuszynski said.

“We also look at commercial applications, we look at projects that people are creating themselves, such as a group of 200,000 volunteers who created a network of people who set up cameras along the US-Mexican border to see if there are any illegal people crossings the border,” he added.

Another point of this exhibition is what people can do to improve the way they live their online life.

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When asked to give a few pointers to how improve one’s internet privacy and how, for example, to encrypt emails, Marek Tuszynski said that yes, a person can protect their image, voice communications, messaging, everything put online.

“We are not asking you to leave Google or Facebook, we just ask you to be more careful instead of clicking ‘yes’ or ‘ok’ to  everything. Choose carefully before sending out information anywhere. There are plenty of choices out there [to protect your information]. If you come to our website you will find lots of step-by-step tips tom protect yourselves.”

Now it is known from Edward Snowden about NSA tracking citizens across the world. Germany and Britain are also doing the same and a lot of countries as well.

When asked about how aware the public really is of these developments or whether this is a completely new thing to them, and how people feel about this, Marek Tuszynski said that there are not only bad guys. He added that many of us could find information about others on the Web.

“There is a lot of information out there, more than one can imagine. Never in the history of our civilization have we had anything like that,  and it’s much bigger than any government could afford nowadays. Government surveillance is most terrifying because these are people we usually vote into power and we want them to protect us.”

“We are too eager to share everything and we trust technology so much. It’s hard to find anybody here who wouldn’t think about finding some new tools, device or occupation that would solve their problems. On the other hand, we still believe that the corporations running this entire business are neutral and friendly. As I said, government surveillance is horrific nowadays and needs to be addressed,” Marek Tuszynski warned.

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