Column: Let's thank the NSA for showing us the real cost of big data
Several weeks ago, the Washington Post and the Guardian ran stories about the NSA, revealing the agency’s forays into "big data" and its attempts to acquire ever-larger quantities of that data off of corporate servers.
The big revelation was PRISM, a partnership with American tech companies - alleged to include Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and others - through which they provided the government with, if not a backdoor, at least a back window.
This information was leaked to the media by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who argued that "the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong."
That may be, but the public also needs 20 gigabytes of free cloud storage. Having sacrificed privacy for the convenience of social media and the cloud, it’s unlikely that we’ll draw a line in the sand when it comes to security.