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Jacob Appelbaum's must-watch 30C3 talk: why NSA spying affects you, no matter who you are - Boing Boing


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Yikes!

The development and hoarding of vulnerabilities in widely used systems represent a risk to everyone who relies on those systems -- not just people the NSA want to spy on. Even if you trust the NSA, you need to know that every bug the NSA keeps secret is a bug that might be independently discovered by another agency you don't trust -- or a criminal group -- and used to attack you. Not because you're a special target, but because an untargetted attack aimed at the whole Internet happens upon you and turns your computer into something that spies on you tosexually exploit you or clean out your bank-account or just sell off all your World of Warcraft stuff.

To drive home this point, Jake details a secret NSA exploit from its catalog, and points out that another speaker at 30C3 had actually independently discovered that exploit and disclosed it at the same event. The lesson: anything the NSA discovers and doesn't patch will be discovered by someone else and exploited.

Jake discloses the way that the NSA determines which targets are fair game for deeper scrutiny, including having your mobile phone in close proximity to an existing target, like Jake himself. To drive home the point, he switches on his phone and says, "Right, anyone who's phone is on now is on the list now."

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