Tag Archives: USA

Security experts on the NSA’s real problems | TED Blog.

Much of the recent outrage about the surveillance programs has been about the monitoring of U.S. Citizens, as it’s probably illegal. However, U.S. intelligence has the legal right to monitor foreign communications as they go through to U.S. service providers. However, even though something is legal doesn’t make it right. I’m not American; I don’t really care about what data is being collected about American citizens. I’m worried about us, the foreigners. After all, we foreigners make up 96 percent of the people on the planet.

The United States has an unfair advantage, as most of the popular cloud services, search engines, computer and mobile operating systems or web browsers are made by U.S. companies. When the rest of the world uses the net, they are effectively using U.S.-based services, making them a legal target for U.S. intelligence.

But foreigners are not automatically criminals or terrorists. And in a surveillance state, everybody is assumed guilty.

Bruce Schneier and Mikko Hypponen on the PRISM

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What has Silicon Valley got that we haven’t got?

What Americans do have however, is one place with a different culture. A place with a history of innovation and success in technology. A place that attracts not just technologists but the capital that they need. A place where someone like Steve Jobs could grow up and meet Steve Wozniak.

I don’t think producing more Science and Technology graduates is going to be enough by itself for Ireland to emulate Silicon Valley. Sure there are plenty of R&D and other high-skilled opportunities in the Irish operations of US companies.  But how many Irish engineers take their bonus (or severance payment) and sink it into a garage startup?  Who are the angel investors who encourage and support them?  How do we develop a culture of try, fail, and try again?  Do we need more technology graduates, or more imagination?

What has Silicon Valley got that we haven’t got?

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