Wednesday, January 21, 2015

United States of America is it's Own Worst Enemy Troll: Edward Snowden Chimes in on International Government Surveillance Cyber Warfare Against the Public Globally

""After a year punctuated by hacks and data breaches, most notably a cyberattack against Sony, President Barack Obama used part of his State of the Union address on Tuesday to mention the growing threat to cybersecurity. “No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids,” he said.
The president’s speech came a week after the White House outlined a cybersecurity policy proposal that calls for more information sharing between the private sector and government, an increase in penalties for hacking and an update in the standards for when companies have to report that their customers’ data has been compromised.
Yet in a recent interview on PBS’s Nova, Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who leaked a large number of classified documents about government surveillance, argued that one of the biggest threats to American cybersecurity may actually be ourselves.
“When the lights go out at a power plant sometime in the future,” Snowden said, “we’re going to know that that’s a consequence of deprioritizing defense for the sake of an advantage in terms of offense.”
In the interview, Snowden argued that Stuxnet, a digital virus that the U.S. and Israel allegedly used to attack Iran’s nuclear program in 2007, was a tipping point in the history of cyberconflict and led to a proliferation of attacks. “I think the public still isn’t aware of the frequency with which these cyberattacks, as they’re being called in the press, are being used by governments around the world,” he said. “We really started this trend in many ways.”
It’s impossible to know how many cyberattacks have been carried out by or against the U.S. But the numbers appear to be rising. In 2013, U.S. military and federal government computers were invaded 46,605 times, up from 26,942 in 2009, according to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Underscoring Snowden’s point: Der Spiegel released a trove of documents earlier this week, which revealed that the NSA broke into North Korea’s computer network in 2010, out of fear of the country’s growing cybercapabilities. That’s why the FBI was quick to accuse North Korea of carrying out the Sony hack, which eventually led to the leak of sensitive internal documents and partially canceled the release of The Interview.
When “we start engaging in these kind of behaviors,” Snowden said, “we’re setting a standard. We’re creating a new international norm of behavior that says this is what nations do.”""

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