The election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America got everyone talking these days. What we would like to know, however, is what this decision entails on the online privacy front. Do we have any reasons to worry?
What Snowden thinks
Edward Snowden says we shouldn’t “fear” and just carry on fighting on our own for online privacy, without expecting unwitting saviors.
Speaking from Moscow on November 10, in a live stream hosted by private browser developer StartPage, the world’s most notorious whistleblower brought into everyone’s attention our hopes concerning President Obama, for instance, who once was expected to bring an end to mass surveillance.
Then, Snowden emphasized that Trump is only one president of a much bigger world and that privacy is a global matter: “This is just one president. Politicians do what they think will gain them support… ultimately if we want to see a change we must force it through.”
One cannot however not worry about Snowden’s own safety in Trump’s regime. Although admitting to being crazy to dismiss a potential deal between Trump and Putin for extradition and trial, Snowden quite optimistically conceded: “If I was worried about safety, if the security and the future of myself was all that I cared about, I would still be in Hawaii.”
On this topic, back in 2014, Trump tweeted: “Snowden is a spy who has caused great damage in the US. A spy in the old days, when our country was respected and strong, would be executed”.
What Trump himself says
During his campaign, Trump vowed to “eliminate our most intrusive regulations” and “reform the entire regulatory code,” as quoted by the Washington Post. He singled out net neutrality as a “top down power grab,” predicting it would allow the government to censor websites.
Concerning encryption, Trump said he would call for a boycott of Apple products if the company didn’t reverse its strong pro-encryption stance.
The topic of NSA mass surveillance has also been debated by America’s future president. In his campaign, he said that he supports reauthorizing the USA Patriot Act and bulk cell phone metadata collection by the National Security Agency:
„When you have people that are beheading if you’re a Christian and frankly for lots of other reasons, when you have the world looking at us and would like to destroy us as quickly as possible, I err on the side of security, and so that’s the way it is, that’s the way I’ve been, and some people like that, frankly, and some people don’t like that.”
“And I’m not just saying that since Paris, I’m saying for quite some time. I assume when I pick up my telephone people are listening to my conversations anyway, if you want to know the truth. It’s pretty sad commentary, but I err on the side of security,” said Trump.
Last but not least, on the topic of hacking his enemies, Trump declared: “I wish I had that power. Man, that would be power.” As president, he will hold that power.
What we should do
As Snowden correctly pointed out, presidents come and go, promise many things and then forget about them.
We should keep fighting the good fight and defend our own online, as well as offline, private lives through all the means we can.
CyberGhost VPN will continue to supply the world with free online privacy and anonymity solutions and try to break as many boundaries as possible by making geo-blocked global content accessible worldwide. So no matter what happens in the world, we will still be here to help turn privacy into a basic human right.
[ photo source: time.com ]