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Richard Clarke: Foreign Governments Not So Surprised by US Snooping

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Former White House cybersecurity advisor Richard Clarke thinks foreign governments' outrage about American cyber-snooping is largely an act being put on for the benefit of political and economic agendas.

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DarkReadingTim
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DarkReadingTim,
User Rank: Strategist
3/27/2014 | 10:33:14 AM
Why is the NSA's activity such a surprise to anyone?
I'm amazed at the strong reaction to the NSA's surveillance activity, which has always been vast and deep. The NSA has been doing deep surveillance for many years. In fact, it used to be that all telecom carriers were required to have a presence in Jessup, Md. -- providing an easy location for the NSA to listen in.
securityaffairs
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securityaffairs,
User Rank: Ninja
3/27/2014 | 2:52:02 PM
Re: Why is the NSA's activity such a surprise to anyone?
Well Tim we must distinguish two aspect:

I agree with Richard Clarke, foreign governments are not surprised by US snooping because almost every state is developing its surveillance programme, more or less efficient. China, Russia and many other countries are investing to improve cyber capabilities on both defensive and offensive perspective. Suverillance and monitoring are common practices, they are the essential part of every cyber strategy, necessary to protect homeland security.

The extension of NSA activity, despite US isn't the unique government with a so aggressive cyber espionage programme, is embarrassing. US Governments has spied also on allies and it has arranged hacking campaigns (see FoxACID and TURBINE) to hack foreign enterprises like Huawei and Siemens. 

Frankly, it is gone too far ... it's policy will damage US IT industry

 
tmccreight
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tmccreight,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/27/2014 | 10:43:48 PM
Why is the NSA's activity such a surprise to anyone?
I agree with Richard's comments and his insight into the drivers behind some of the comments from foreign states.

I remember working on CALEA projects (there's an oldie for you) back in the 90's that caused concern wtih so many people, yet proved invaluable when we provided assistance to intelligence agencies in North America.  I understand and appreciate the difficult position Western nations are in - they don't want to let potential intelligence go undetected, but must also face harsh criticisms when they 'invade' the personal electronic space of citizens (both foreign and domestic).  I don't envy the daily decisions these folks make, but I can say I've seen the benefits of that information.
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