When computers first started, vulnerabilities were not made public. Instead one alerted the maker of the vulnerability privately, so the bad guys would not find out about it. But most often, those receiving the alert in secret, would be in no hurry to fix it.
Then vulnerabilities started to became public. As soon as one was found, it was posted and the makers were forced by public pressure to scramble and fix the flaw. So once a vulnerability was found, a temporary fix could be slapped together even if it meant taking the server off line. Publishing made the Internet safer for us all.
The NSA does just the opposite. Not only was it collecting data as it passed through its servers, but it has compromised a huge number of user’s computers and phones just like any hacker. It has the potential to control almost any computer around the globe, according to the most recent release of data coming from Edward Snowden.
It has the unique ability to do so by its strategic location in the middle of the data stream. Many of the “401 File not found”s you have received from what you thought were up-and-running sites, innocuously came from the NSA according to Snowden’s released data. Once connected, the NSA then installs it’s own data directing all your flow to its secret servers, first before it gets passed on to where you were intending.
The ease with which your servers are compromised comes from NSA’s collusion it has with Verizon, Comcast, and the other servers who have access to the internal workings of your machine. This, coupled with back doors manufactured expressly for the NSA, makes any computer susceptible to infiltration.
There is no way your IT guys can block them, because it is so secret.
And that is the problem. Edwards Snowden left the NSA with tremendous amounts of information, and fortunately decided to make it public. Computer surveillance has been in effect 10 years now. One must wonder, how many service technicians working with the NSA, have left with that information, and who have not gone public, but chose to sell it to those to whom such information is important?
What if the Chinese already have all the codes the NSA uses to get into any American’s computer? (All we have is the NSA’s words that they don’t. But the NSA has rarely told the truth.)
In other words… because all these NSA codes and methods are top secret, any bad agent possessing that powerful secret, can wreak havoc far longer than he could if the IT community were able to pounce and scramble out a fix right away….
We are now at the point, where cyber infiltration is a far more serious threat to the USA than ragged desert terrorists jumping through hoops of fire in training videos.
The NSA needs to recognize this and turn to the IT community and publish their back doors and vulnerabilities.
It would make everyday spying on Americans much harder, but would protect our system of electronics against a devastating attack.
In layman’s terms, it is much easier to get away with murdering someone in a mountain cabin far from other people, than it is to do so in the middle of a police station… If everyone is a cop, we are much safer than if we have something we think is a secret, but is turns out it is not.
Balanced against spying on American citizens, i think sealing up the NSA caused vulnerabilities to our system, is a no-brainer.