Our Own Worst Enemy

From Brad Smith of Microsoft:

“Early Friday morning the world experienced the year’s latest cyberattack.

Starting first in the United Kingdom and Spain, the malicious “WannaCrypt” software quickly spread globally, blocking customers from their data unless they paid a ransom using Bitcoin. The WannaCrypt exploits used in the attack were drawn from the exploits stolen from the National Security Agency, or NSA, in the United States. That theft was publicly reported earlier this year. A month prior, on March 14, Microsoft had released a security update to patch this vulnerability and protect our customers. While this protected newer Windows systems and computers that had enabled Windows Update to apply this latest update, many computers remained unpatched globally. As a result, hospitals, businesses, governments, and computers at homes were affected.”

Read more at https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2017/05/14/need-urgent-collective-action-keep-people-safe-online-lessons-last-weeks-cyberattack/

Everyone understands that we have to protect our national interests. But does that mean creating the very tools that can be used against us? And doing so with an agency that has little, if any accountability to the American people, or even those in government.

The reason that the FBI and CIA were set up as separate organizations, with clear prerogatives (CIA for external threats, the FBI for internal ones), was so that we were not creating an all knowing, all powerful organization that could use its knowledge to crush liberty and freedom of Americans. So the politicians and government functionaries that were in favor of total control and surveillance created the NSA, to get around those legal restrictions. And now, that foolish choice has come home to roost, with computer code generated by our own intelligence agency being used to damage and destroy data globally, as well as extort the innocent.

Isn’t it about time to rein in the madness?

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