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5 things PRISM teaches CIOs about doing business in today's world

Jonathan Hassell | Aug. 7, 2013
Revelations that the United States government is monitoring Internet data from tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft should make your company reconsider where and how it stores data--all while realizing that, at the end of the day, surveillance practices (usually) stay a secret for a reason.

The U.S. government has an almost-unlimited budget, the power and the clout to carry out surveillance in numerous ways we both can and can't predict. It can tap Internet lines. It can put secret black boxes in datacenters, as we have seen from Buzzfeed's coverage of the Utah ISP forced to host an NSA server in its racks for nine months.

The bottom line: If we're all being honest, there's little action we can take to prevent government monitoring. We can make it more difficult for our communications to be intercepted in plain text and free and clear-though how much more difficult we can make it is arguable. We can store data on premises as much as possible so that it's not sent over a wire, too. But those are stopgap measures. It's best to assume if that, shadowy government agencies want to snoop your data, they can.


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