Canaries to combat surveillance

Wired are carrying an interesting opinion piece by Chris Finan today. He sees the negative impact upon the reputation of IT services companies who have been entangled in the NSA’s surveillance activities as a primary motivator for them to press for change.

These companies’ fight back to reassure their customers (us) that our information is safely guarded will include use of transparency reports and ‘warrant canaries’ (signalling when a government agency request for data-access has been made).

With the publication of the report commissioned by President Obama to review the NSA’s activities (available here via The Guardian),  it will be interesting to see what turns out to be most effective in bringing change: the Executive, the Judiciary, or shareholders.

I’m not sure if it will qualify as ironic if the capitalist motivation for constantly expanding surveillance technologies also proves to be the best restraint of its over-reaching.

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