In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.
Shane Harris, an author and journalist who covers intelligence, surveillance and cybersecurity for a number of publications, says that the revelations about the NSA from Edward Snowden are nothing new, and that such programs have a significant recent history in the United States.
ProPublica investigative reporter Peter Maass says that cellphone companies monitor where we are, who we call, what we buy -- and often provide it to law enforcement when requested. "They are collecting a heck of a lot more information than we expect them to be collecting about us," he tells Fresh Air.
Parents should be paying very close attention to the digital media their children are using, says child advocate James Steyer. "Young people in particular often self-reveal before they self-reflect," he says. "There is no eraser button today for youthful indiscretion."
Nearly all of the most commonly visited websites install invisible tracking software on your computer so the information can be sold to advertisers. Julia Angwin, who recently led a team of Wall Street Journal reporters investigating the practice, explains what companies do with the information -- and how you can protect your privacy online.