2014 is going to be an interesting year in I.T.

2014 is going to be an interesting year.

Anyone who knows me has heard me rant on the many issues with privacy in I.T.

“Cloud this” or “Patriot Act that” often punctnsauate my discussions with non-I.T. muggles about the situation involving some technology that they have either adopted, or are thinking of adopting.

Beginning (in the new technological age, anyway) with Echelon:

Originally a code-name, is now used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.

It was created in the early 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War, and was formally established in the year of 1971.

More info here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON

One of the latest issues involved the U.S. Patriot Act.

The initial P.R. was “you don’t like them terrorists, do you?” and it passed with little opposition.

What was ACTUALLY the main payload was the ability for the U.S. government to access any information any time with no warrant or notice.  Any computers physically located in the U.S. or belonging to companies headquartered in the U.S. (even if the computers were in another country).

Here in Canada, there are a lot of companies, and even schools, municipal governments and other organizations that have started storing their documents and information “in the cloud” (that very sexy term).  Often on a U.S. based company’s service like Google for example.

Doing that makes information subject to the Patriot Act.

Now, with the public revelation that “monitoring has been done” by various U.S. organizations (NSA most recently publicized) people are only starting to be aware of what most I.T. security people have known or suspected for a long time.

http://gizmodo.com/a-peek-inside-the-nsas-spy-gear-catalog-1491827763

http://gizmodo.com/the-nsa-has-crazy-good-backdoor-access-to-iphones-1492117035

Some “big names” like Cisco have been named on lists of manufacturers whose products have been fitted with NSA “backdoors” so it will be interesting to see how: a) they spin it and b) their sales are effected.

How this will shake out during the next year is certain to very interesting.