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Echoes of NSA leak in Hungary

June 15th, 2013

A centre-right commentator warns Hungarians are not aware of the dangers of the information stored by their favourite internet service providers.

Mandiner’s Gergely Ákos Balogh remarks that some of the companies mentioned in the Snowden leaks as opening their servers to federal agencies also have a wide market share in Hungary. AOL’s and Yahoo’s share is insignificant, and even the number of people affiliated with Apple is relatively small. On the other hand, there are 4.4 million Facebook users in Hungary (out of a population of about 10 million) and all Google services – search, Gmail and Chrome – are first choice among Hungarians. The depth of the data stored by these companies, he writes, conjures up dystopic pictures: while earlier secret surveillance was costly and required an extensive net of intelligence personnel, nowadays we voluntarily give up most of our personal information on a daily basis. What if our data is accessed by organisations that are inclined to misuse it? What if those companies change policies one day? Perhaps, Balogh concludes, there is nothing to worry about right now – but who knows where we will end up in five or ten years’ time?

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