Declassified Documents Reveal How the CIA Has Been Collecting Data
By Nick Anderson 5 minutes
New classified documents made public for the first time have revealed how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been invading the privacy of American citizens.
By now, it should be no secret that the U.S Government actively monitors web activity. The revelations by Edward Snowden were just one of the many shocking revelations about the government’s surveillance activities.
This week, more information has come to light on how intelligence agencies in the U.S spy on its citizens and wittingly collect data from the shadows.
How the CIA Collects Data in the US
The latest revelation surrounding CIA’s surveillance has revealed that the U.S intelligence agency has been secretly collecting bulk data of U.S citizens. Two U.S senators revealed the data collection program in a letter that was written back in April 2021 and is only now declassified.
Although much of the letter is redacted, especially the part about what kind of data collection is involved, it confirms the existence of a surveillance program is that running without legal oversight.
The letter directed to the CIA’s leadership calls for action on transparency.
Data collection is a reality, but the alarming part about this surveillance program is that it works without a warrant. It means that a court order is not required for the CIA to carry out its surveillance activities.
The senators allege that the bulk collection program has been authorized under Executive Order 12333 and does not involve the approval of Congress.
Surveillance and Data Collection In The United States
For years, it has been known that the United States government and its intelligence agencies secretly tap into internet traffic and cellular activities in the interest of national security. Edward Snowden’s revelations back in 2014 was the first time the public realized just how much data collection goes behind the scenes.
PRISM is a well-known surveillance program run by the NSA that collects data through Internet Service Providers (ISP) and cellular companies. The documents about PRISM made public by Edward Snowden for the first time also revealed how the NSA forced Verizon to record internet activities.
Another problem with these surveillance programs is just how deep it goes. The Foreign Intelligence and Services Act Court oversees all the requests for surveillance warrants made by the intelligence agencies. But not much is known about the inner workings of the court since court documents are never made public.
Although FISA aims to collect data about foreign threats, it can inadvertently involve data about American citizens if the person of interest is in communication with a U.S citizen.
However, the surveillance program revealed this week on how the CIA collects data works outside the FISA.
How to Protect Your Privacy in the USA
These are just the programs that we know about. If there’s one thing that can be said for certain is that online surveillance has only increased during the last decade. As more devices come online and more platforms emerge, online surveillance will only get deeper.
ISPs are the gateway that enables governments to control internet access and keep track of every internet activity. The ISP is the entity that connects a user to the internet.
It knows every web activity; what websites users visit and when they visit them.
Hence, encrypting internet activities is the way to hide internet activities from the ISP.
How to Use VPN for Privacy
A VPN is a tool that safeguards your privacy by encrypting internet traffic so that no one else can see what you do on the internet.
FastestVPN connects you to remote servers that are located in more than 50 locations worldwide. It allows you to spoof the IP address by using the VPN server as an intermediary to access the internet. It allows you to hide behind the VPN server’s IP address and access the internet anonymously.
Connect to a VPN server in another region, then switch to another region to change your geographical location, with just a click of a button – it’s that easy.
Because your destinations, such as websites, read the VPN server’s IP address, it also allows you to bypass geo-restrictions.
Some services or content may not be available in every region or in the United States. A VPN fixes that by masking the IP address to bypass the geo-block for instant access to any service or content from anywhere in the world.
FastestVPN Does Not Log Your Activities
A “zero-logs” VPN service guarantees that your web activities will not be logged. When you replace the ISP with the VPN for access to the internet, you allow the VPN server visibility to your internet activities.
Hence, it is crucial to rely on a VPN with a strong commitment to privacy.
FastestVPN is not just a “zero-logs” VPN service, it operates from the safe jurisdiction of the Cayman Islands. It is another important detail for you to consider. A safe jurisdiction is an indication that the VPN service is not legally compelled by any government to record and retain the internet activities of its users. The Cayman Islands is a territory not under the influence of the Five Eyes.
Hiding internet activities is a vital step towards protecting privacy on the internet. It’s not just surveillance programs that you need to worry about, hackers have a way to monitor internet traffic too through rogue Wi-Fi networks.
It’s easy for a hacker to set up a rogue access point or jump on an unsecured public Wi-Fi network and monitor the internet activity of every user connected to the Wi-Fi.
Encryption is the answer to such privacy and security issues. Turn on FastestVPN and encrypt internet traffic using the highest-grade AES 256-bit encryption standard.