Terrorism and Data Privacy

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Terrorism is very scary, especially when it happens close to home and not in some faraway place. Nobody likes to be afraid, and we were eager to make the fear go away. So we demanded more security. In the last decade, it’s become increasingly normal for civil liberties to be eroded and for government agencies to spy on citizens, to collect and store their personal information. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of right- or left-wing policies, this affects every one of us.

So we have to take a look at the data and ask ourselves honestly, “Has all of this actually made us safer?”

Terrorism and Data Privacy

The Beginning

After the attack of 9/11, the US government concluded that the law had not kept pace with technology. It created the Terrorist Surveillance Program initially to break communications linked to al-Qaeda. Officials were confident that if the program had been in place before 9/11, the hijackers could have been stopped. But soon the new powers were also used to prove guilt by association.

The FBI used immigration records to identify Arab and Muslim foreign nationals in the US. On this basis, 80,000 individuals were required to register, another 8,000 were called in for FBI interviews, and more than 5,000 locked up in preventive detention. Not one terrorist was found in this campaign.

Terrorism and Data Privacy

In 2013 Snowden leaked the document that reveals how the government sees and stores the private data of public. They showed how the NSA(National Security Agency) can demand information about users from companies like Microsoft or Google in addition to their daily collection of data from civilian internet traffic such as email content and contact lists. So, instead of focusing on criminals, governments are increasingly turning their attention to everyone. But if you are looking for a needle in a bundle of grass, adding more grass to the bundle isn’t going to make it any easier to find the needle.

Terrorism and Data Privacy

On the contrary, every recent success announced by the NSA has come from classic target surveillance. Despite high hopes, the NSA surveillance program has not stopped any major terror attack.

Apple Vs FBI

In early 2016, the FBI asked Apple to produce a backdoor program to disable the encryption of a terrorist’s iPhone. Apple publicly declined, not only because this tool could be used to permanently weaken the privacy of law-abiding citizens worldwide, but fearing to open the floodgates for governments requesting access to a technology used by billions of people, a fear shared by security experts and cryptographers. A few weeks later, the FBI revealed that they had hacked the phone themselves, basically admitting that they lied to the public about the need for a backdoor, which questions how trustworthy spy agencies are in the debate about privacy and security, especially considering that the NSA, for example, already has the capability to turn on your iPhone microphone or activate your laptop camera without you noticing. Concerns about this are often met with the argument,

                           If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

But this reasoning depends on person to person because if a person wants to keep privacy about own life then it doesn’t mean he/she is doing anything wrong. Right now, we live in a democracy. But imagine the damage the wrong person could do with our data because data is the new treasure of the current world.

The Government uses this law for own benefits 

For example, following the November 2015 Paris attacks, France expanded its already extensive anti-terrorism laws by giving law enforcement greater powers to conduct house raids and place people under house arrest. Within weeks, evidence emerged that these powers were being used for unintended purposes, such as quashing climate change protests. The governments of Spain, Hungary, and Poland have introduced more restrictive laws on the freedom of assembly and speech.

If we talk about the FBI, then there is a case of former FBI director James Comey used this NSA data for his personal use.

 There is also a case of Cambridge data analytica.

Indian Cases related to Data privacy :

 Now if we talk about the case of India, this data privacy issue first come is light when aadhar card details were easily available. In Supreme court hearing Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI), the agency implementing aadhar repeatedly argued about Aadhaar that It will help against terrorism and banking fraud by ensuring that only “genuine” persons get access to mobiles, and banking services but in reality, the bank fraud cases were increased.

There is also a big question about how these aadhar card can be misused? Adhar card become more dangerous when other documents linked with aadhar. Imagine a third party hacker can access all your data like biometrics and bank account details then he can damage you in a bad way. 

None of this is effectively helping us fight terrorism. The motivation behind this might be good, even noble, but if we let our elected governments limit our personal freedom, the terrorists are winning.

Terrorism and Data Privacy

Then what is the Solution?

What’s worse, if we’re not careful, we might slowly move towards a surveillance state. The data is pretty clear: the erosion of rights, along with mass surveillance, hasn’t led to significant successes so far, but it has changed the nature of our society.

Terrorism is a complicated problem…

…without simple solutions.

No security apparatus can prevent a few guys from building a bomb in their basement. Creating master keys to enter millions of phones is not the same as searching for a single house. To take full advantage of this existing condition, we need better international cooperation and more effective security and foreign policies, better application of our present laws instead of new and stricter ones that undermine our freedom. We live in Democracy and we have our rights in our hands.

Keep reading, keep learning



Reading Time: 5 minutes

A talk which signifies the lift-off of CEV which was speeding on the runway for a long time. A talk special for us, which symbolized our tribute to the jawans of Pulwama Attack of 14 Feb.

Well now let’s move to the topic. Rishipal Yadav, a 4th-year undergrad at COMPS DEPT, SVNIT delivered the talk named the cyber-security. And here are some major glimpses of the great talk.

So the very first question to be answered is “WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT THAT?”

Here are some incidents that can prove how you can be a victim?

  1. BANK ACCOUNT:   In the period of April and December last year, nearly 24,000 fraud cases related to credit, debit cards and internet banking were registered in India, reported by mint according to RBI data. Major cases were credit card cloning and fraud phone calls. Caution: Hackers can surely use your account details to transfer some money into your account!!!  Solution:  Never save cards on sites, never disclose any type of info to an unknown person on the phone even if he claims to be governor of RBI.
  2. AADHAR CARD: Did you remember to ask for deleting the gmail from your cyber shop which you send for printing the aadhar card. It is so funny that we register an FIR when we lost it and on another hand we ourselves voluntarily send a copy to shop for printout, just give a thought. Caution: Anyone can use fake identity for many criminal offenses. Solution: Always use pen-drive for taking printouts,
  3.  EMAIL: How many times have you shared your Gmail? That’s not a problem but have you ever wondered how hard is it for any third party to crack your password? If you think strongly that it is not so hard. Caution:  Important documents can be stolen within seconds. Solution: Use multiple e-mail addresses and remember to use multi-factor authentication, and regularly change passwords. Here is a survey report, check where you are?THE CYBER SECURITY : A Talk
  4. Browsing history: Do you know about Ashley Madison data breach? 25 GB data was leaked in July 2015, which later caused victims to go in depression, divorces, commit suicide and blackmailing. Solution: Use cloud flare for browsing, it is far faster and safer than google! More is given ahead.
  5. Social media: The advantages of social media are i.) you can be in touch we with far friends, ii.) you can share your experiences on a large platform, and so on….. but once for a while sit down and think calmly, is that so important that you use it so often. Cautions: There have been theft, murders, and other crimes which on investigations revealed that the locations and check-ins on social media were used for that. Solution:  Use your common sense. Any social media firm is a company whose sole purpose is profit. So you are yourself responsible for the information which you share. Use privacy features and other securities for it, and more importantly be aware of what you post on Facebook, Instagram, etc.

I am sure this would be enough to make you realize your vulnerability to the cyber threat in this digital world of the information age.

Probably you would ask, what to do then,  WHOM SHOULD YOU TRUST?”

Sadly the answer is that the stakes are so high that you can never claim of 100.0% security, how much you spend on your antivirus, how often you change your passwords, etc. Only thing is that you can only keep the probability as low as possible.



  1. Dont use password managers, instead try to remember them.
  2. Change your passwords more often.
  3. Use multifactor authenticity and confidentiality features.
  4. Dont just give various applications unnecessary permissions like location and contacts access.
  5. USE CLOUD FLARE: as your DNS server as it is more fast and secure than giant Google.
  6. Never ever use “Public WiFis” any cost, they are very much vulnerable. Use VPN in extreme circumstances.
  7. Beware of phishing emails, one can easily trace it with common sense.
  8. Do security updates as soon as they are available for different apps.
  9. SOCIAL ENGINEERING: Across the globe out of all the cyber crimes reported most of them are the result of user negligence, unawareness, and human error. Only few are the incidences of technical error although they cost much higher and destructive, like data breaching of giants. So whenever using your phone in public always be aware while entering passwords, etc.
  10. Think before you click: this is much simpler very very effective trick to keep you safe and secure.


Nearly everything on the Internet starts with a DNS request (Domain Name System). DNS is the Internet’s directory. Clicking on a link, opening an app, sending an email, the first thing your device does is ask the directory, where should the device look for that.

Unfortunately, by default, DNS is usually slow and insecure, mostly used Google has By logging your IP address they can see every site you visit and every app you use, even if their content is encrypted. Some DNS providers sell data about your Internet activity or use it to target you with advertisements, and hence earn huge profits.

Cloudflare, US-based DNS provider have It is the DNS provider with the highest speed and currently most reliable DNS provider. You must switch over that.



So with increasing services we all are subject to more and more risks to be attacked by heinous hackers. Simple is the concept the more convenience you seek the lesser secure you are. For example, use COD and you will be at the safe side, that is so simple. But this technology has become indispensable in our life, hence we need to be calm and responsible for every click me make. Common sense is a great tool to fight against this. Just keep these wise words in mind:

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”                                                SUN TZU


In the end, a movie clip to make our motive more clear:


At last huge thanks to Rishipal Yadav Sir from whole CEV team for such an amazing talk.

Thanks for reading!

Stay blessed,


CEV - Handout