This is a view I have had for a while, it is a view that I have advocated on more than one situation, yet business remains silent, deaf and as they hide in ignorance they are limiting the options they have, in the future and in an acted decimation of one’s own future. The information in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/23/us-intelligence-services-surveillance-privacy) shows a title ‘Facebook case may force European firms to change data storage practices‘ that questions certain elements. The quote “a court accused America’s intelligence services of conducting “mass, indiscriminate surveillance”” in the first paragraph is the act of alerting, but is that all?
The Case C‑362/14 Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner is the calling entity here. A request for a preliminary ruling.
Let’s take a look at the elements. We see at  Mr Schrems lodged a complaint with the Commissioner on 25 June 2013, claiming, in essence, that the law and practices of the United States offer no real protection of the data kept in the United States against State surveillance. That was said to follow from the revelations made by Edward Snowden from May 2013 concerning the activities of the United States intelligence services, in particular those of the National Security Agency (‘the NSA’).
 Nevertheless, according to the High Court, the revelations made by Edward Snowden demonstrated a significant over-reach on the part of the NSA and other similar agencies. While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (‘the FISC’), which operates under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, (18) exercises supervisory jurisdiction, proceedings before that court take place in secret and are ex parte. In addition, apart from the fact that decisions relating to access to personal data are taken on the basis of United States law, citizens of the Union have no effective right to be heard on the question of the surveillance and interception of their data.
This all goes back to ‘the revelations made by Edward Snowden‘. I have forever had issues with the ‘revelations’, too many holes, too many issues that from an IT perspective are a given no no. In addition, it assumes a level of ‘openness’ within the alphabet group that does not exist. Such openness has never existed, yet the press and many others have been very willing to blindly accept the events of Edwards Snowden, yet the data was never made bare, the data is filtered and was largely ‘stamped’ as complex, as too dangerous. Yet proper analyses of the data was never made by any person that could be regarded as trustworthy. For now, to underline what comes, I will give you this quote “An intelligence operation is the process by which governments, military groups, businesses, and other organizations systematically collect and evaluate information for the purpose of discovering the capabilities and intentions of their rivals. With such information, or intelligence, an organization can both protect itself from its adversaries and exploit its adversaries’ weaknesses“, the source is not important right now, the impact will be discussed, yet before I do this I want to continue the other elements I started.
Now consider  where we see “In addition, the Commission expressly acknowledged at the hearing that, under Decision 2000/520, as currently applied, there is no guarantee that the right of citizens of the Union to protection of their data will be ensured. However, in the Commission’s submission, that finding is not such as to render that decision invalid. While the Commission agrees with the statement that it must act when faced with new circumstances, it maintains that it has taken appropriate and proportionate measures by entering into negotiations with the United States in order to reform the safe harbour scheme“.
Now consider the following thought by transforming the quote: ‘there is no guarantee that the right of citizens of the Union to protection of their data will be ensured‘ into ‘it will be certain that the right of citizens of the Union to protection of their data will be unsuccessful‘. The issue is that moving data will open up a massive amount of dangers, data instabilities and data security hazards. Too many players within the EEC and other places all want their fingers on the data so that they can get a foothold of power. It is THAT simple in my opinion!
All these nations wanting access to data, setting up corporations, all trying to make a quick buck whilst during political manipulating, the security of our data will be available to anyone offering 39 pieces of silver. Before you start listening to people with nice PowerPoint presentations and long winded explanations with considerable non liability asterisks on how this is so not possible consider the following events (at http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/). Ashley Maddison might be the most sensual one, but also the most embarrassing. In that same light we can see 145 million records of EBay, Sony, Heartland with 130 million and that list goes on for a long time. So the last thing I want to see is our data in the hands of some ‘seemingly’ ignorant individual, whilst completely unexpectedly and totally against ‘protocol’ the data will make it into the hands of third parties. Now I go back to that other quote, which I will paraphrase: “An intelligence operation is the process by which businesses systematically collect and evaluate information for the purpose of discovering the capabilities and intentions of their rivals and exploit the weakness of its adversaries“. This is what I foresee. This is why the crying over the NSA, whilst handing over health data to parties too unprepared to properly protect that data is more than just a big farce. Now we need to look at two sources. The first is the Guardian on the 28th February 2014 (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/28/nhs-data-will-not-be-sold-insurance-companies-jeremy-hunt), which gives us “Health secretary to provide assurance that confidential information will not be used for commercial insurance“, now Wired three days before that reported (at http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-02/25/insurance-companies-buy-medical-records) “Details relating to hospital admissions from 1989 to 2010 were given (for an extraction fee) to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. The 13 years of data covering 47 million patients were given to the professional body to help them ‘improve accuracy in pricing’ of insurance“, yet all insurance is commercial, so as data goes, it is out there and too many players want a slice of that pie. Forcing more personal data into any open direction is beyond dangerous. That part can be constructed from http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-health-care-insurers-seek-big-premium-increases-1433206078. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is looking to raise rates by averages of 29% or more. In Pennsylvania, Highmark Health Insurance Co. is asking for 30%, according to proposals submitted by insurers for the year ahead. Around the country, some of the main market leaders are looking for double digit increases“. What do you think in all honesty will happen when they get the option to make healthcare unaffordable to all or unaffordable to some. Data will become the compromise and that danger is a lot larger when it is in the hands of ‘other’ third parties whilst the law is unable to deal with the issues at hand. The US has some strict rules in place that barring national security cannot be broken. Now we see a push towards fields where these levels of security do not stringently exist. What do you expect will happen? And healthcare is not the biggest slice of it all, just the most visible one.
In all this there are issues on both sides, yet at the core the pushed fear for governmental access is a fake and an illusionary one and it is shouted the loudest by people who have a little too much to hide. Hiding for the sake of their ego, their acts and/or the need for continue or renewed satisfaction of greed. Yes, I agree that my view is polarised to some extent, I agree that my view has flaws, but I approach it from a clinical side, whilst the others are all hiding through the shouting and claims set behind the emotions, the push to fear.
In all this I have yet to see the cold light of evidence that the alphabet group is disserving the people. The link to movies and conspiracy theories, nearly all of those claimants with their own agenda, sometimes badly hidden. Yet, in that light, is my view not too conspiracy theory set? I ask that of myself too, because without that consideration it is just a viewpoint. It will remain a viewpoint no matter what, yet consider that when you seek ‘NSA transgressions’ you find very little acceptable news events, with this I mean events that are of a decent level of report. When we look at data transgressions from other parties, that list is growing at an almost exponential rate and the size of the transgressions seems to be increasing, shifting data all over the place is not my first idea of safety.
Is it your choice?
When you decide and it goes wrong, you only have yourself to blame and as I see it, you lose all rights to complain when (not if) it goes wrong.
The next iteration of our lifestyles that what happens over the next 2 generations will all be about data and who has control over it and who gets access to it, which is not freedom.