Edward Snowden alleged that Rovio, creators of Angry Birds was tapped by the NSA, among other programs on the Web.
The furor prompted President Obama order a mild crackdown on the NSA and other TLAs with fingers in the lucrative industrial/military spying industry.
The reason is the frenzied building of server farms by the EU, Brazil and other nations worldwide and the dearth of Information Technology (IT) contracts for American firms as an attempt to protect valuable business and industrial secrets. The extent of the revealed spying on our supposed allies galvanized the rest of the world to act to protect their ‘intellectual property’.
Since this is bad for American information technology businesses, Obama kissed a compound fracture to make it feel better by decreeing a committee and appointing a cyber admiral to be the new NSA chief. To swab the cyber decks clean, as it were. There is anger by consumers (I mean citizens) too, but not much, distracted by white ear buds and the shiny.
But US tech firms are angry indeed, and with good reason. They expect and require a secure network and the NSA, for one, has broken it, with ‘back doors’ everywhere assumed, after Snowden.
Hacking anything is possible for government agencies, and now even easier for spammers, bots, crooks and scammers thanks to the NSA. Job well done. We taxpayers thank you for your service.
Police states know the secrets and weak points of all subjects and, since Clinton, Bush and Obama, can launch drone missile strikes on anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason, with no due process, court trial or bail, Obama loves them more than Bush did. Gitmo is still open, and your ‘rendition’ to one of our helpful allies for further ‘enhanced interrogation’ to help you remember or to reform you, is always an option.
There is some hope that the IT corps being stung are angry enough to act. Hosting data, after all, requires some degree of trust and the USA now has none, worldwide. Do the IT giants that profited by eager or forced cooperation with NSA, CIA and FBI lawyer/thugs hope the trade secrets we stole from the rest of the world (are still stealing?) are worth the loss of business worldwide?
I believe Rovio does not share data. They point out that advertising networks spy on app users and it’s a lot easier now since NSA weakened network security for their own reasons.
Since US Government spy agencies tap data at the backbone, they then have all of the advertising networks’ data on all of us as well to populate, update and validate -but never delete, as Google also prefers-their own databases on us all.
Remember the DARPA inspired ‘net’ was created mostly for military purposes. We will never give it up because of the belief, probably well founded, that the UN or the EU would fuck it up even worse than we have.
There is a mismatch between our 200-year-old legal ideas and the 21st century reality of our new panopticon surveillance society.
Angry Bird via USA Today
Panopticon and NSA logo via New York Times
o-yes-we-scan via Huffington Post
I agree that we are all dazzled by our shiny devices that are no doubt collecting every bit of data about us as they can. I happen to have given myself over completely to our benevolent overlord Google as far as my shiny device goes ( I have a nexus 4 phone and a nexus 7 tablet, go nexus!). However other than a few advertising algorithms I seriously doubt that anyone is listening to what I say on my phone or write in my emails, there is still anonymity in banality.
True Jim, nobody’s looking at you or me-for now. But if it’s all stored in a database somewhere forever they can comb it after your future naughty behavior. As Cardinal Richelieu might have said “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.”