The Cyber Security Industrial Complex

From: MIT

A claim by Wikileaks that documents it released last week provide evidence of a “secret new industry” of mass surveillance was as breathless as previous pronouncements from Julian Assange’s organization. But the material does provide a stark reminder that our online activities are easily snooped upon, and suggests that governments or police around the world can easily go shopping for tools to capture whatever information they want from us.

The take-home for ordinary computer users is that the privacy and security safeguards they use—including passwords and even encryption tools—present only minor obstacles to what one researcher calls the “cyber security industrial complex.”

“There is no true privacy in any computing systems against determined government-level surveillance,” says Radu Sion, a computer scientist at Stony Brook University who directs its Network Security and Applied Cryptography Laboratory. He says that as computing systems become more complex, and reliant on components from many different suppliers, the number of vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers and surveillance tools will grow.



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