News about the NSA from the New York Times this morning is a bit shocking - but not for the reasons you may think. The NY Times states (based on documents leaked by - you guessed it - Edward Snowden) that the NSA has placed covert software in computers across the world.
In other words, the NSA is spying on various countries through a number of computers that are laced with special software.
That's not the part that should concern you, though.
The Real Issue
Every country has some kind of spy operation. It's how countries keep citizens safe from attack, and it's also how information that could impact an entire population is discovered (and, therefore, dealt with in advance). What's not know (until now) is how each country runs its spy programs. Enter the Edward Snowden leaks.
The information that Snowden has told major press outlets (like the NY Times) can hurt the U.S.'s current spy operations. In turn, this could hurt the citizen population. But, the leaks have already happened, and the world wants to know more about the NSA's current activities.
The NSA claims that the organization has not installed spy software on any domestic computers. Further, Snowden has told press that the NSA does not need a computer or user to be connected to the internet to collect information. So, what countries is the U.S. currently spying on? The NY Times articles states that the NSA's software program mainly targeted the Chinese military.
How can the NSA spy on various other militaries? The hardware has to be implanted by a U.S. spy first. Once that's done, the software goes to work via radio frequencies. It's all very technical, and it's the one way that the U.S. can have an eye on enemies while keeping citizens safe - but, maybe not anymore. There's little doubt that the word about these programs has reached foreign ears, and that may mean that these setups are now compromised.
The Future of the NSA
President Obama will unveil a clear set of reforms that directly relate to the NSA on Friday. Further, it is expected that the President will let the public in on NSA activities. The purpose of this speech will be to curb enthusiasm related to all NSA activities, and, hopefully, stop the spread of highly secret details.
If the President of the U.S. lets the public know about everything that Snowden knows, he no longer has public attention when it comes to divulging details, right? But, there are two sides to every coin, as the saying goes, and some people may find that U.S. surveillance operations are unnecessary.
Are you one of those people? Or, do you think that the leaking of Snowden details needs to stop when it comes to letting the world know what the NSA does to protect its citizens? Or, is the NSA entirely justified here? It's a matter of perspective, I suppose, right?
Let me know what your thoughts are below!