Adam Clark Estes
June 18, 2011
With a new major hacking incident seemingly daily, the Department of Defense is scrambling to find the right shield against future for attacks. But why hide behind a shield when you can charge onto the battlefield underneath the invisible but ironclad cloak of the National Security Agency? That’s exactly how the DoD is mounting it’s first strike back at the hackers–a preemptive strike that will increase online surveillance at defense contractors by partnering with internet service providers for privileged access to the rivers of data flowing through their cables. AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink are all on board.
Giving the NSA more access to the same internet tubes that power your Gmail account sounds a little invasive. At least that’s what James X. Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the civil liberties watchdog group the Center for Democracy and Technology. “We wouldn’t want this to become a backdoor form of surveillance,” Dempsey told The Washington Post, referring to the pilot program that DoD insists will remain limited to the contractors working closely with the government.
“The U.S. government will not be monitoring, intercepting or storing any private-sector communications,” Deputy Secretary William J. Lynn III said Thursday at a global security conference in Paris. However, he added, “We hope the … cyber pilot can be the beginning of something bigger. It could serve as a model that can be transported to other critical infrastructure sectors, under the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security.”
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