With PRISM, It’s Now Up to Web Hosting Companies to Protect Its Customers

Google has formally denied that it provides NSA a backdoor to its data but also admitted that it provided NSA information about its users in compliance with NSA’s request that was upheld by the court. Along with Google, Microsoft and other internet giants have all provided NSA with their data. Many critics have been questioning whether this move violates the right of people to privacy.

There is, however, a more interesting angle to all these. That is the fact that there little to no talk or buzz about the whole issue. No major new agency has put serious time into the issue and no one has clearly explained why.

The answer may be intertwined with how people perceive the internet, the cloud and their rights.

Everyone knows this is possible and probable

The government and the courts have been able to obtain confidential information phone calls, bank activities, properties and other confidential information about a person’s identity. That is not news. It has happened and will most likely continue happening for as long as there is reason for them to do so. NSA’s step was not unprecedented and won’t be the last. It’s not news.

The business world, particularly the stock market, seems to echo the sentiment that there is nothing to worry about.

Click here to know more about Prestige Technologies’ security features.

The first exposure of the NSA request for data access happened in mid-June and the two biggest providers of cloud, Amazon and Microsoft, are still valued at the same price range as they were late May and early June.

People know what they don’t know

There is still that debate on who controls the internet or where the internet lies. Everyone has this vague idea that the internet is forever in motion. There are billions of data passing through cables and wireless signals to get to one place only to move to another just as fast. Data at rest, however, rests in servers or the cloud.

One of the things Edward Snowden, the guy who disclosed the NSA activity, revealed is that there is a British intelligence program called Tempora that intercepts moving data that’s passing through their British servers. There is some sort of a partnership between Tempora and NSA. The same effort is being done in China as it will also intercept data passing through the mainland and HongKong. That’s not surprising. Even 15-year-old hackers can do that, all the more security agencies. The real issue is more complicated than that.

There is the question of who really owns the data. There are cloud providers whose servers are in Germany but serve the whole world. Those who opt to subscribe to a certain web host are aware of where their physical servers are. Although the server is owned by an American, it doesn’t except them from the laws governing Germany. That’s a fact and everyone knows it. When someone, then, chooses to put their data in a server that’s located somewhere else, it is tantamount to agreeing to law of the land where the servers are physically located. No one is exempted.

It’s all about protecting the user

With that fact out there, the focus now lies on the user and Web hosts. What can a web hosting company do to ensure that their customers are protected in as much as the law will allow it.

Explain situations

When you get a server, it is but wise to ask the company for their security measures. Data should be encrypted and security measures must be constantly updated. Web hosting companies must take the time to put in place a system where the user are can inquire, at an given moment, an update on new security procedures and new security measures that the web hosting company puts in place.

Advice to Users

There should be a clear disclosure of when exactly the NSA request for a data information. Customers must understand that even the NSA goes through a certain process before it is requests for any kind of data and Web hosting company can fight it off if necessary by taking it to court.

However, as previously mentioned, no one is exempted from the law. If a the NSA has probable cause, the court will most likely side with it and that when that happens, it a certain level of responsibility lies on the user. A web hosting company must advice the user the steps they could take to minimize, if not completely curb, the government getting all of their data in case a web hosting company is forced to turn over data.

Constant Updates

Primary reason Prestige Technologies maintain a blog like this is to constantly update current and prospective customers what are the new developments that could directly or remotely affect our customers, aside from giving tips to anyone who needs or are using a web host.

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