Partnership between NSA and telecoms pose both security and privacy risk, experts say:
Speculation remains as to whether the programs still exist, but as Cohn said: “The story that [these documents] tell is [the NSA is] just grabbing more, and more, and more, and more. Nothing in this six-year span is of them getting anything less. [So our] best guess is that trajectory continued.”
Christopher Parsons, postdoctoral fellow, Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, seconded Cohn’s thoughts and expressed surprise that no documents have indicated any change in programs.
Even if Americans aren’t exactly concerned about their data, per se, Parsons reminded that beyond losing its citizens’ trust, the U.S. government loses diplomatic credibility through these leaked documents. The government can’t argue for a free and open internet if it monitors foreigners and its own citizens, he said.
“If you use the internet, and the data goes through the U.S., the government is spying on it,” he said.