When the Internet Turns on Us: Reaction to the NSA Prism Scandal

Miriam Hara Chief Creative Officer , 3H Communications

Posted on June 12th 2013

When the Internet Turns on Us: Reaction to the NSA Prism Scandal

As most people have heard, former CIA technical assistant Edward Snowden became an overnight household name and acclaimed “whistle blower” when he decided to inform the public about a government database that collects our private information.

"Any analyst at any time can target anyone,” Snowden said. “I, sitting at my desk, had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if I had a personal email."

A million different thoughts ran through my mind. But mostly, I wasn’t surprised at all. The government has always been one step ahead, collecting our information for years to protect us.

But you can’t deny that social media helps government agencies collect our information much more efficiently as we give it right to them.  But it’s not only government officials whom have our seemingly private information at their fingertips.

Private companies – big online businesses – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have our information because we are freely giving it to them. At any time these multi-million dollar companies know which cities we live in, what we’re interested in and who our friends and family are. Oh, and that picture of your meal you posted from the restaurant down the street? You just told them where you are.

Everything is uploaded to a giant server in a private company where we only assume the information is protected and our lives are private, as possible.

But as people working in a social media environment, making our money influencing each other on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn – is it too late to turn back? Could you give up the social influence you’ve built on the Internet? The businesses we’ve built, the reputations and our clients? Would we be okay giving up social media if it ever inflicted on our overall privacy and wellbeing?

A part of me thinks it may be too late. Too late to step back and unplug social media from our lives even though we know it brings a sense of danger to our personal security. There are start-up companies every day, building and being inquired, all promising to bring social media to corporate environments. As ethical as these practices may be, we have to at least be aware of the possibility with ever company dipping into social media our private information is being spread further and further away from us.

CNN reported some social media reactions to the CIA whistleblower: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/07/tech/social-media/snooping-web-reaction/index.html

@mattdizwhitlock #NSACalledtoTellMe that after 4 trial memeberships on eHarmony I probably should just give up.

@IIzThatIIz #NSACalledtoTellMe What Happens in Vegas, stays in our Utah data center.

@andishehnouraee The most important question: How will my presence on #PRISIM affect my @klout score?

It’s a scary thought to think that it may be too late to turn back from the social media presence we all work towards daily. If we monitor what information we put online, maybe you can better protect yourself but it’s always best to stay informed. So, what do you think?


Miriam Hara

Chief Creative Officer , 3H Communications

Miriam is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of 3H Communications Inc., a full service branding and advertising agency. Her experience has enabled her to bring together strategic business savvy with an all-encompassing creative vision to product and service marketing, which she shares here, in her many posts. Join the conversation, register here. Miriam’s own brand of marketing experience and expertise is the basis of her marketing ebook series including Social Media Understood, the most recent addition. Download it here. You can also find Miriam on Google +.

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