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All Data Stored on “The Cloud” Can Be Accessed by US Government Without a Warrant
Madison Ruppert/Activist Post
According to reports, all personal information stored on major cloud computing services can be spied on by US agencies without users’ knowledge or even a search warrant.
This is all reportedly being done under the recentlyreauthorized Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)and has led British Members of Parliament to call on the British government to not only end the use of cloud computing but also stop sharing intelligence services with the U.S, according to the Independent.
It’s worth pointing out that the US government has admitted breaching the Fourth Amendment under FISA while maintaining an absurd level of secrecy around the Act. Given the massive expansion of the Pentagon’s cyberwarfare forces and the exponential rise in surveillance overall, people around the world have a quite legitimate reason to be concerned.
As New Zealand’s IOL points out, under FISA “all documents uploaded on to cloud systems based in the US or falling under Washington’s jurisdiction can be accessed and analyzed without a warrant by American security agencies.”
Apparently, US agencies have been able to access private data stored on the cloud since 2008 while no one had any clue it was going on.
“What this legislation means is that the US has been able to mine any foreign data in US Clouds since 2008, and nobody noticed,” said Caspar Bowden, chief privacy adviser to Microsoft Europe for nine years until 2011.
According to IOL, US agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), the FBI and the CIA can all access information that potentially concerns American foreign policy for reasons which are purely political.
There is apparently no need for suspicion that national security issues are at stake which would mean that religious organizations, political campaigns and even journalists could have their data monitored by the US government.
Bowden, now working as an independent advocate for privacy rights, co-authored a report for the European Parliament which warns of the threat posed by FISA.
In the report, Bowden also criticized the UK Information Commissioner’s Office for giving the control over to the US government.
Perhaps even more concerning for the British, four of the suppliers of the UK Government’s G-Cloud system are indeed located in the US and thus under American control thanks to FISA, raising “questions over the security of information is being stored overseas,” as the Independent puts it.