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  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 5:15am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 September, 2013, 2:47am

Spy agencies' criminality breathtaking

"There seems to be no limit to the violations to their hard-won liberties that Americans will put up with in the catch-all name of counterterror." Author John le Carre, commenting on Edward Snowden's whistle-blowing.

According to Snowden's revelations, US and British spy agencies have broken the most commonly used systems and standards of internet encryption.

The US National Security Agency does so by imposing weakened protocols on international encryption standards and, most revealing of all, demanding that US software and hardware companies leave "back doors" and create other vulnerabilities to their products.

Now we know why the products of some of the world's largest tech firms are always full of bugs. Some bugs were no doubt the result of carelessness, cost-cutting and pressure of deadlines. But now we have proof that others were deliberately planted.

In their zest and lawlessness, the spy agencies are opening other people's e-mails, bank accounts, medical records and essentially any kind of online transactions, while innocent users think their data is encrypted.

They are undermining the very integrity of internet commerce. Or, in the words of one critic, they are attacking the internet itself.

The stunning hypocrisy is that American politicians and security officials have repeatedly thwarted attempts by Chinese tech firms, such as Huawei, to enter the US market because of their supposed security risks. Well, it takes a mass murderer to know the thinking of a run-of-the-mill criminal.

It's now clear that having achieved military dominance in sea, land and air, the US is doing the same in cyberspace.

We can still remember how the CIA vaccination ruse used to track down al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden led to a wave of kidnapping and murders of health workers across Pakistan.

In a similar way, the decade-old war by the US in - or rather on - cyberspace has severely compromised global data security and privacy. It has inadvertently encouraged a generation of cybercriminals and hackers to target and exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems worldwide. But given the criminality of the spy agencies, some hackers look more like heroes - like Snowden.

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crbfile
lest we not forget, just a few months ago the US gov't was complaining about hackers in China targeting US businesses. If we put the two crimes together, the US actions are like mass murder and the China hackers action is like stealing a glass of milk. We should remember that before the truth was revealed the US was unrelenting and pounding media attack on China about their cyber espionage. Can we say in unison "H Y P O C R I S Y ! "
honger
Snowden is the hero of our time - he realised not only how criminal, but also unethical, his work was and decided to sacrifice himself to expose it.
He is the "true" American, an ideal that we did not know still exists in our time.......
Dai Muff
If you think that is the full extent of the PRC's hacking I have a bridge in London to sell you.
chaz_hen
True that.
The US government put up a good show of being indignant and offended at the Chinese thievery of "intellectual property rights" - a concept that rich American lawyers, paid by richer corporations, use to keep average people and poor countries forever in debt through manipulation of pharmaceuticals and bio engineering, for starters - but the whole time hacking the rest of the world, not some trivial trade secrets but rather the very core of all people's belief that they had some modicum of privacy, security and trust.
The US broke the trust.
On the world.
fink
Russia, China and the US are all engaged in a cyberwar arms race, and are as bad as each other. Personally, I trust the US establishment more than I trust the criminal gangs who run China and Russia.
pslhk
For once the US government follows the best policy
It hasn’t (I believe) denied Snowden’s evidence
which it has instead adopted as evidence for treason
-
But what’s the real use of ES’ evidence
which for the objective and rational
is only to fend off deceitful charges of conspirator’s petty-mindedness
Nothing ES has exposed was at all rationally unimaginable
and hasn’t long been practically treated as a realistic scenario
-
In the long list of “democratic” deceptions and delusions
IT espionage is but a minor operational item
The more pervasive and stealthily effective instruments include
non exclusively:
Opinion manipulation thru education and media
Financial hegemonism
Military intimidation
-
Wake up scholarism
the private agenda of clowns like Chan, Eu, Wong, Mo, Tai
undermines HK’s short and long term interests
John Adams
True, all very true , and sadly so.
Snowden will probably one day win a Nobel Peace Prize, many years later.
.
(And how ironic that Obama was awarded this prize so soon after becoming USA president, since when he has allowed his administration to lie about these abuses )
Camel
For the people who are asking, "what are you afraid of if you have nothing to hide?", well, you need to imagine, how many people all the agencies need to check and observe, their emails, phone calls and short messages. Hundred of Millions of citizens, billions of messages and calls. Of course, unlike showed in one of The Simpsons Shows where hundreds of NSA workers were listining to the calls in a hall, the agencies use special software with algorithm to spy and read on the people. So, if you aren't careful enough what you say or write you will be immediately on the black list of terrorist suspects. Like a guy from Marokko, who wrote a SMS with words, matches the keywords the software is searching. As he was from Northern Africa immediately police officers hold him as a suspect and searched his home. But of course, he shouldn't be afraid of anything if he had nothing to hide. Nothing found and obvious innocent they let him go. But after this incident, his neighbours avoided him and he eventually lost his stay. A german student once interviewed arabic colleagues for a project. He emailed his work. The progr. recognized patterns matches the profil and he got suspected as a terrorist sympathiziser. He didn't know it until when he applied for a government Job. They made a security check on him and his name was on a "blacklist" describing him with "connections to extremists". He could say goodbye to his future career. So, you have nothing to fear if you aren't hiding anything....
Camel
Just pray that you won't get suspected. Guantanamo isn't really a nice place for holiday and waterboarding has nothing to do with "surfing" in the sea. But you like the USA more, so I think you will fit into.
zaphirax
Well, I like the USA better than China or Russia. But I trust them more than USA. Why?
Because USA is getting paranoid over any foreigner, suspecting they may be a terrorist (forgetting that most attacks in USA have ben done by it's own citicens)
China on the other hand is not scared about terrorists, their only consern is protecting their own citicens against certain information and of course political opposition in it's own country. They target their own citicens, they don't target everyone else.

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