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How Safe Are Your Passwords?
By: Jessica Cherok
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Does anyone else feel a little irked by the fact that the Feds aren’t even slightly apologetic about the NSA spying on Americans thing? Just last week, the government made demands for Internet companies to turn over the stored Internet passwords of their users.

While most companies, like Google and Microsoft, have said that they do not turn over passwords, answers to security questions, or encryption algorithms, neither would confirm whether they had received any requests from the government for the information. Whether Internet companies are resisting or not, the government’s persistent attempts to access its citizens’ information without their knowledge is unsettling.

And we’re not the only ones upset.

European lawmakers have been especially outraged by the news, since many of those countries have very strict privacy protections. U.S. officials have claimed that while the NSA spying seems bad, it’s actually more likely European countries would spy on their respective citizens. That doesn’t seem likely, and certainly not to the same scale as the NSA has been found to be doing.

The whole thing has put further emphasis on the importance of protecting your privacy online. Many feel that they will largely be unaffected because, after all, they aren’t doing anything criminal and need not worry. Still, it’s been proven time and time again throughout our history that once personal freedoms are given up, they are impossible to regain. As surprised as we all have been to learn of the NSA program, it isn’t so far out there to think we will find ourselves surprised again.

   

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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