Mar 152014
 
 March 15, 2014  Surveillance

John Naughton writes:

…. One of the things that baffles me is why more people are not alarmed by what Edward Snowden has been telling us about the scale and intrusiveness of internet surveillance. My hunch is that this is partly because – strangely – people can’t relate the revelations to things they personally understand.

In the past two weeks, two perceptive commentators have been trying to break through this barrier. One is Cory Doctorow, the science-fiction novelist, who had a terrific essay in the Guardian arguing that instead of increasing our security, government agencies such as the NSA, GCHQ and others are actually undermining it. The essay is worth reading in full, but one part of it stood out for me. It’s about the thriving, underworld online market in malicious software. Nowadays, if some hacker discovers a previously unknown vulnerability in widely used software, that discovery can be very valuable – and people will pay large sums for such “zero-day” exploits. But here’s the creepy bit: sometimes, the purchasers are government agencies that buy these pieces of malware to use as weapons against their enemies.

Read more on The Guardian.

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