Stop the Secrecy

Wired: The NSA is hurting the Internet.

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 15:22 -- Eva Prkachin

"By treating the Internet as a giant surveillance platform, the NSA has betrayed the Internet and the world."

Article by Bruce Schneier for Wired

By treating the Internet as a giant surveillance platform, the NSA has betrayed the Internet and the world. It has subverted the products, protocols, and standards that we use to protect ourselves. It has left us all vulnerable—to foreign governments, to cybercriminals, to hackers. And it has transformed the Internet into a medium that no one can trust.

The world has changed dramatically since the NSA was founded 62 years ago. Back then, it was easy to spy on foreign governments while shielding our own from snoops. Today, the NSA's intelligence mission has expanded from just government-on-government espionage to government-on-population surveillance. At the same time, the communications world has shifted from dedicated circuits that can be passively tapped to a single global Internet infrastructure that requires active attack to eavesdrop on. Everyone uses the same networks, and creating the capability to eavesdrop on foreign communications by engineering backdoors into US technology leaves domestic transmissions vulnerable to eavesdropping. The NSA's aggressive data-gathering, with seemingly little regard for how that might compromise the security of everyday digital communications—and with only loose oversight (at best) by government watchdogs—has far exceeded what any modern and free society should reasonably expect. Breaking up the agency would do a lot to bring it under control.

The way I see it, the problem is that the NSA has too many missions: a military mission dedicated to network attacks and political espionage, a law enforcement mission focused on individual bad actors across the globe, and a defensive mission devoted to protecting the nation's information infrastructure.

- Read more at Wired