Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has lashed out at cloud computing and the NSA’s PRISM program, comparing the net effect to Soviet Russia, according to a new video of the internet pioneer.
Wozniak begins by explaining he believes individual liberty and the right to own property are essential elements to a free society.
“When I was brought up my dad taught me, for example, [that when] other countries got prisoners in a war, they tortured them. But we, Americans, didn’t torture them. We gave them good food, clothing and everything. And I was so proud of my country” Wozniak says.
“And now I find out it’s just the opposite. And all these things we talk about in the Constitution, that made us so good as a people, they all dissolved with the Patriot Act.
“When I was bought up, I was taught that communist Russia were the ones that were going to kill us, and bomb our country. Communist Russia was so bad because they followed their people, they snooped on them, they arrested them, they put them in secret prisons, they disappeared them. These kinds of things were a part of Russia.
“And nowadays, we’re getting more and more like that.”
Wozniak says the cloud poses risks in that end users sign away their rights to digital property, likening the lack of ownership to communism.
“You couldn’t own anything [in communist Russia]. Well, nowadays in the digital realm you don’t own anything anymore. It’s all subscriptions… Anything you put on the cloud you don’t own. You’ve signed away the rights to it.
“If they decide deliberately they don’t like you, and cut you off, you’ve lost all the photographs of your life. You don’t own it anyway! When we grew up, ownership was what made America different to Russia.”
Wozniak says cloud computing becomes particularly dangerous when combined with the NSA’s PRISM program.
The revelation of the controversial program has led tech companies, including Google, Mozilla, Microsoft and Facebook, to call for more accountability from the US government in seeking information for national security purposes.
“Look at the guy who just turned over the information about what the NSA program was. Anyone sitting there at a terminal could grab all the data of anyone. No courts, no inspection, no warrants, no-one having to approve it.
“That means there’s a thousand people in the CIA could sit and, whoever they want to, go look at. It could even be an ex-girlfriend.”