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Balance of power starting to shift, says Edward Snowden

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Two years after disclosing that the National Security Agency was spying on their innocent citizens, Edward Snowden, in an New York Times opinion piece published on Thursday, made a striking remark that the “balance of power is beginning to shift.”

The former intelligence analyst claims that a “post-terror generation” is arising that refuses to justify the practice of mass surveillance out of fear.

Alluding to the present week’s ending of the bulk data collection program under the USA Patriot Act, Snowden said, “Ending the mass surveillance of private phone calls under the Patriot Act is a historic victory for the rights of every citizen, but it is only the latest product of a change in global awareness.”

Snowden said the goal was accomplished by “the power of an informed public.” He stated that the end of the mass surveillance of private telephone calls under the US Patriot Act was a “landmark victory for the rights of each citizen”.

“Since 2013, institutions across Europe have declared laws and similar operations illegal and imposed new restrictions on such activities in the future. The UN has said that mass surveillance was clearly a violation of human rights.”

“In Latin America, Brazilian citizens’ efforts have led to the adoption of the Marco Civil, the first declaration of the rights of the internet in the world. Recognising the essential role of an informed public in correcting excesses of government, the Council of Europe called for the adoption of new laws to prevent the persecution of whistleblowers.”

The former National Security Agency worker said, “Basic technical protection safeguards such as encryption … are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies such as Apple, which ensures that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private.”

However, he also warned that the right to privacy is still under threat.

“As you read this online, the United States government makes a note,” he added.

The computer analyst remains wanted by the United States for espionage following his sensational leaks that fetched him a title of a traitor in some political sectors. However, he was majorly regarded as a hero.

Snowden has been given temporary residency in Russia.

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Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

The governments and private parties around the world also requested information on 3,358 Apple accounts and data was provided in 82 per cent of cases.

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Private party request circumstances generally relate to instances where private litigants are involved in either civil or criminal proceedings.

The governments around the world sent requests for device information on 29,718 Apple devices, with India asking for 27 device requests in the July-December 2017 period, the iPhone maker has revealed.

Overall, the data was provided in 79 per cent of cases, Apple said in its bi-annual transparency report made available on Friday.

In case of India, the data was provided in 14 out of 27 requests (52 per cent).

The governments and private parties around the world also requested information on 3,358 Apple accounts and data was provided in 82 per cent of cases.

“Examples of such requests are where law enforcement agencies are working on behalf of customers who have requested assistance locating lost or stolen devices.

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In case of India, the data was provided in 14 out of 27 requests (52 per cent). Pixabay

“Additionally, Apple regularly receives multi-device requests related to fraud investigations. Device-based requests generally seek details of customers associated with devices or device connections to Apple services,” the Cupertino-based company said.

Private party request circumstances generally relate to instances where private litigants are involved in either civil or criminal proceedings.

The tech giant said that starting with the period July 1-December 31, 2018, it will “report on government requests to take down Apps from the App Store in instances related to alleged violations of legal and/or policy provisions”.

Read More: Home Router Devices Were Compromised By Foreign Hackers Says FBI 

Apple requires government and private entities to follow applicable laws and statutes when requesting customer information and data.

“We contractually require our service providers to abide by the same standard for any government information requests for Apple data. Our legal team reviews requests received to ensure that the requests have a valid legal basis,a the company said.

“When we receive an account request seeking our customers’ personal information, we notify the customer that we have received a request concerning their personal data except where we are explicitly prohibited by the legal process, by a court order Apple receives, or by applicable law,” it added. (IANS)

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