While Edward Snowden’s name became quite big years ago, these days his name is one that not everyone is aware of. For those who do not know Snowden is a ‘whistleblower’ who told the world all about NSA’s illegal spying program.
Now, in recent times when speaking to someone from The BBC, Snowden said that the hiring of a former NSA chief by Amazon was quite worrying. As Gen Keith Alexander joins Amazon’s board of directors Snowden seems to be pretty concerned. While it might not sound like much to some when it comes to spying who would be better to use than everyone’s favorite home smart speaker.
On Twitter Snowden tweeted things like what you find listed below, in reference to this interesting choice of a man being added to the board:
“It turns out ‘Hey Alexa’ is short for ‘Hey Keith Alexander,”
“Yes, the Keith Alexander personally responsible for the unlawful mass surveillance programs that caused a global scandal,”
🚨🚨 It turns out “Hey Alexa” is short for “Hey Keith Alexander.” Yes, the Keith Alexander personally responsible for the unlawful mass surveillance programs that caused a global scandal. And Amazon Web Services (AWS) host ~6% of all websites. 🚨🚨https://t.co/6hkzsHjxh9
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 9, 2020
From there he also retweeted some posts that further touched on the issue at hand with all of this. While Alexander was someone that many were looking at when this whistle was blown back in 2013, it seems these days most have all but forgotten that he was initially heading the NSA when all of that mass surveillance stuff was going on. If anything he is someone who probably knew more about it than most and yet, still proceeded with it.
Business Insider wrote as follows on this topic:
Although Amazon has not suffered massive privacy scandals similar to those of social media companies such as Facebook, it has been the subject of some unflattering news stories about its privacy practices. In August last year it emerged that Amazon’s Alexa (along with many other tech companies’ smart voice assistants) had been sending voice recordings to human contractors for review. Amazon subsequently made it possible to opt-out of human review. And earlier this month Vice reported the company had been using a social media monitoring tool to spy on private Amazon driver Facebook groups.
A federal court ruled this month that the sweeping surveillance of US citizens’ phone records revealed in the Snowden leak was illegal and possibly unconstitutional. The court also dismissed the NSA’s case that the surveillance was necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, finding it hadn’t helped to prevent even a single attack.
What do you think about this? Do you agree with Snowden? I for one think I am a bit uneasy about the new Amazon board member that’s for sure.