A best-selling author and technology expert has said that web users should boycott internet giants like Google and Facebook if it is confirmed they were involved in a US surveillance programme referred to as Prism.
In an interview with Wired.co.uk, Professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School suggested that consumers had a responsibility to leave social networks found out to be collaborating secretly with intelligence services such as the US National Security Agency:
“Quit Facebook and use another search engine. It’s simple.” He added, “It’s nice to keep in touch with your friends. But I think if you find out if it’s true that these companies are involved in these surveillance programs you should just quit.”
Wu cautioned that he felt many facts were not yet verified but admitted he was not surprised to hear of the existence of Prism. News of the programme was, he said, “shocking and dispiriting”.
“When you have enormous concentrations of data in a few hands, spying becomes very easy,” said Wu. “So Facebook and Google were always obvious targets for any government that wants to know stuff about people.”