New reports have emerged today about the NSA’s practices of inserting tiny circuit boards and USB cards surreptitiously into computers that then send out radio-frequency signals that can be picked up by listeners even if the computer is not hooked up to the internet.
The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.
While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.
The US government has issued its usual justification that they only use this to spy on those evil foreigners and us god-loving Americans have nothing to fear. But if foreigners are fair game, then what if other countries use these techniques to spy on Americans? In what has become routine hypocrisy, the US government loudly accused the Chinese of doing similar things, taking up the issue at the highest presidential level.
While refusing to comment on the scope of the Quantum program, the N.S.A. said its actions were not comparable to China’s.
“N.S.A.’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,” Vanee Vines, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to — U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”
These people lie as easily as they breathe. The NSA has already been caught spying on Brazilian petroleum companies and Belgian telecommunications companies among businesses, so Vines continues the time-honored US government practice of simply lying about past practices, hoping that no one will remember.
Is it any wonder that despite the US government’s concerted attempt at vilification, by a large majority of 57-34%, the American public views Edward Snowden as a whistleblower and not a traitor? He has proven himself to be both honest and honorable, which is not something that can be said of president Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, or the two top officials at the NSA Keith Alexander and James Inglis.