Browse Definitions:
Definition

Snowden effect

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

The Snowden effect is the increase in public concern about information security and privacy resulting from disclosures that Edward Snowden made detailing the extent of the National Security Agency's (NSA) surveillance activities.

In 2013, Snowden, a former NSA contractor, leaked NSA documents that revealed the agency was collecting data from the electronic communications of United States citizens. Other disclosures included information about PRISM, the agency's data collection program, a surveillance metadata collection and XKeyscore, which supplies federated search capabilities for  all NSA databases. Snowden's revelations forced the NSA -- one of the nation’s most secretive organizations-- to publicly explain itself. Since that time, there have been perceptible increases in the general public's knowledge about the U.S. government's cybersecurity initiatives and awareness of how those initiatives have impacted the privacy of individuals, businesses and foreign governments. 

The leaks also raised questions about data sovereignty and how secure a company's data really is if it's stored by a cloud provider based in the United States. In 2014, almost 90% of respondents to a survey commissioned by security consultancy NTT Communications said they were changing their cloud-buying behavior as a result of Snowden’s revelations. Just over half said they are carrying out greater due diligence on cloud providers than ever before, and more than four fifths responded that they would seek out more training on data protection laws.

Studies have been conducted to quantify some of the effects as indicated by changes since the Snowden revelations. An Internet poll conducted by the Center for International Governance Innovation showed across 24 countries that, overall, 60 percent of respondents were aware of Snowden; in many developed countries the numbers were higher. Germany came in highest at 94 percent. Sweden, China, Brazil, and Hong Kong percentages were in the mid-to-low eighties.  The Canadian number at 64 percent, along with the U.S.'s 76 percent, suggests more media coverage of the events in developed nations outside North America. Behavior changes were reflected in the survey with 43 percent claiming they were more careful about sites they accessed; 39 percent reported changing passwords more often than they had before Snowden's revelations.

In March 2015, Snowden's revelations came to public attention again when Laura Poitras' film about Snowden, Citizen Four, won the Academy Award for best documentary. In May 21015, the U.S. court of appeals ruled that the NSA's mass telephone surveillance was illegal. 

See Edward Snowden's TED talk, "Here's how we take back the Internet."

This was last updated in October 2015

Continue Reading About Snowden effect

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

What we should learn from the #EdwardSnowden is that our current govt. does not give a rat's a$$ about the safety & security of THE USA. Snowden is a TRAITOR who should be SHOT ON SIGHT. PERIOD.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

  • evil maid attack

    An evil maid attack is a security exploit that targets a computing device that has been shut down and left unattended.  An evil ...

  • Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

    In security, Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive framework of all the relevant subjects a security professional ...

  • rootkit

    A rootkit is a program or, more often, a collection of software tools that gives a threat actor remote access to and control over...

SearchHealthIT

  • value-based healthcare

    Value-based healthcare, also known as value-based care, is a payment model that rewards healthcare providers for providing ...

  • health informatics

    Health informatics is the practice of acquiring, studying and managing health data and applying medical concepts in conjunction ...

  • clinical trial

    A clinical trial, also known as a clinical research study, is a protocol to evaluate the effects and efficacy of experimental ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) is a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical ...

SearchStorage

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close