Internet Superhero Cory Doctorow’s Plan to Thwart the NSA

Sep 11, 2013 No Comments by

Internet superhero Cory Doctorow*, rendered by XKCD’s Randall Munroe , has taken to the pages of The GuardianInternet Superhero Cory Doctorow\'s Plan to Thwart the NSA

Internet superhero Cory Doctorow*, rendered above by XKCD’s Randall Munroe, has taken to the pages of The Guardian to distill why the NSA behaves unethically when it deliberately inserts security weaknesses into digital technology:

It doesn’t really matter if you trust the “good” spies of America and the UK not to abuse their powers (though even the NSA now admits to routine abuse), you should still be wary of deliberately weakened security. It is laughable to suppose that the back doors that the NSA has secretly inserted into common technologies will only be exploited by the NSA. There are plenty of crooks, foreign powers, and creeps who devote themselves to picking away patiently at the systems that make up the world and guard its wealth and security (that is, your wealth and security) and whatever sneaky tools the NSA has stashed for itself in your operating system, hardware, applications and services, they will surely find and exploit.

…Our world is made up of computers. Our cars and homes are computers into which we insert our bodies; our hearing aids and implanted defibrillators are computers we insert into our bodies. The deliberate sabotage of computers is an act of depraved indifference to the physical security and economic and intellectual integrity of every person alive. If the law is perverted so that we cannot tell people when their security has been undermined, it follows that we must find some other legal way to warn them about services that are not fit for purpose.

That would be sufficient for a mortal’s op-ed, but being an Internet superhero and all, Doctorow has a suggestion for warning the masses about the NSA’s depraved sabotage.


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