Ashkan Soltani wrote in MIT magazine that future improvements will make collecting data on citizens easier and cheaper. He said that in the past Americans were safe because the government lacked the technogy and financial barriers to protect them from large-scale surveillance. However this has eroded and it is not that expensive for the government to snoop on its citizens. Partly this is because most communications are now delivered and stored by third-party services and cloud providers. E-mail, documents, phone calls, and chats all go through Internet outfits, or wireless carriers.
“The World Wide Web relies on key chokepoints which the government can, and is, monitoring,” he said.
But what is known about the NSA’s capabilities suggests a move toward programmatic, automated surveillance previously unfathomable due to limitations of computing speed, scale, and cost.
“Once the cost of surveillance reaches zero we will be left with our outdated laws as the only protection,” he warned.
As a result it will be technology barriers which offer protection from unwarranted government surveillance domestically and abroad in the future.