NSA Spying Makes the Internet and Computers LESS Safe
Spying makes us vulnerable to hackers and other bad guys:
- IT and security professionals say spying could mess up the safety of our internet and computer systems
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation notes:
“By weakening encryption, the NSA allows others to more easily break it. By installing backdoors and other vulnerabilities in systems, the NSA exposes them to other malicious hackers—whether they are foreign governments or criminals. As security expert Bruce Schneier explained, ‘It’s sheer folly to believe that only the NSA can exploit the vulnerabilities they create.’”
- Another expert on surveillance and cybersecurity – Jon Peha, former chief technology officer of the FCC and assistant director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology – says that the NSA’s spying program “inevitably makes it easier for criminals, terrorists and foreign powers to infiltrate these systems for their own purposes”
- The NSA’s big data collection itself creates an easy mark for hackers. Remember, the Pentagon itself sees the collection of “big data” as a “national security threat” … but the NSA is the biggest data collector on the planet, and thus provides a tempting mother lode of information for foreign hackers
And the inventor of the World Wide Web – Sir Tim Berners-Lee – agrees. As the Telegraph reports:
The inventor of the world wide web has criticised America’s National Security Agency and its British counterpart GCHQ for weakening online security by breaking the encryptions that guard data privacy for millions of computer users around the world.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee called for a “full and frank public debate” over internet surveillance, warning that cracking encryption software was foolish and would be exploited by cybercriminals.
“We need powerful agencies to combat criminal activity online – but any powerful agency needs checks and balances and, based on recent revelations, it seems the current system of checks and balances has failed,” he told the Guardian.
“In a totalitarian state where it reckoned it was the only strong state in the world, I can imagine that being a reasonable plan. But in this situation, internet security is hard. It’s naïve to imagine that if you introduce a weakness into a system you will be the only one to use it.”
Mr Snowden’s disclosures illustrated a “dysfunctional and unaccountable” failure at the heart of US and UK governments and proved that whistleblowers must be protected from prosecution.