Sunday, November 17, 2013

The NSA redefining of the Internet

Nicholas Weaver in Wired Our Government Has Weaponized the Internet. Here's How They Did It Wired 11/13/2013 looks at how the extensive NSA spying drastically reframes the way governments and companies have to look at Internet information traffic:

The internet backbone — the infrastructure of networks upon which internet traffic travels — went from being a passive infrastructure for communication to an active weapon for attacks. ...

If the NSA can hack Petrobras, the Russians can justify attacking Exxon/Mobil. If GCHQ can hack Belgicom to enable covert wiretaps, France can do the same to AT&T. If the Canadians target the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Chinese can target the U.S. Department of the Interior. We now live in a world where, if we are lucky, our attackers may be every country our traffic passes through except our own.

Which means the rest of us — and especially any company or individual whose operations are economically or politically significant — are now targets. All cleartext traffic is not just information being sent from sender to receiver, but is a possible attack vector.

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