Total Pageviews

Search My Blog

Friday, September 6, 2013

US and UK spy agencies defeat privacy and security on the internet (Courtesy:

This latest blog I wanted to share because of the rise of concern over privacy and security.  I felt it necessary to write about this after reading the following link:


I stumbled upon this when I was checking my "Google+" account.  To be fair, I haven't read the article in its entirety.  Though playing devil's advocate, I can see some potential benefits to this happening.  And because of the rise in concern over privacy and security after the recent leak of NSA (National Security Agency) domestic eavesdropping, I felt it necessary to point out some of the potential benefits here as opposed to the potential pitfalls some folks jump to (the conspiracy theorists).

The first and foremost benefit is this:  It's better this happens by the United States and the United Kingdom's spy agencies than have it happen by someone with less-than-honorable reasons.  Let's face it, everyone would be in an uproar if someone in a much more foreign (and hostile) sovereign power did it.  I'd be in total concern that someone broke my encryption codes in a foreign hostile region than my own government.  Besides, unless I'm doing something completely illegal, I have nothing to hide.

Another benefit to this development is that because of this government sanctioned "breach", a "white hat" or ethical hacker (someone who is paid to legally break into secure networks and computer systems) can find solutions to such breaches of security and privacy, and find new countermeasures and defenses against such cyber attacks.

Suppose these "white hats" didn't exist.  Let's just say for the sake of argument that our governments weren't proactive in setting up these legal breaches, who would be responsible for the safety and security of our computer systems and networks?  The manufacturer's?  The individual public users?  "Black Hats"?  Those are the folks we really should worry about.  They are the ones who hack for many reasons.  Primary reasons include greed, bragging rights, and to "just have fun".  Sometimes, although rare, "Black Hats" have been used for political cyber attacks on politician's systems, networks, etc.  

My personal suggestion to get an idea of what this all means, watch the movie "Live Free or Die Hard".  In this movie, they talk of something hackers everywhere both live for and fear called a "fire sale".  I won't explain the details of which since they are explained in the movie, and while I don't think it'd actually happen, it's a very real worry.  "White hats" who work on government payroll are constantly working on making sure someone or a group of people are not able to perform this theoretical "fire sale".

One final thought on this subject, for those of us in I.T. (Information Technology)/I.S. (Information Security) industries, this can be a useful development, because it means someone is already working on solutions and remedies to counteract such breaches and cyber attacks.  Those of us in said industries are working hard to keep up with developments like this so that we can do our job that much more effectively and efficiently.  The last thing we want is for someone to blame us for something that wasn't within our control, or even a degree of control.  

Have questions or need something explained?  Send me an email at, and I'll do my best to either answer your question or provide an explanation.  If I cannot, I'll point you in the right direction.  If you'd like your question or explanation featured in a blog, let me know too!  Thanks for reading.