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NSA Targeting Domestic Computer Systems 105

The NSA was originally supposed to handle foreign intelligence, and leave the domestic spying to other agencies, but Presto Vivace writes with this bit from CNET: "'The National Security Agency's Perfect Citizen program hunts for vulnerabilities in 'large-scale' utilities, including power grid and gas pipeline controllers, new documents from EPIC show.' 'Perfect Citizen?' Who thinks up these names?" "The program is scheduled to continue through at least September 2014," says the article.
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NSA Targeting Domestic Computer Systems

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  • Imperfect citizens (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @05:27PM (#42377145) Homepage Journal

    'Perfect Citizen?' Who thinks up these names?"

    Answer in subject line.

  • The prisoner (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23, 2012 @05:33PM (#42377179)

    I am not a number i am a free man.....
    we want ...infor-matin infromation

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23, 2012 @05:35PM (#42377189)

    People seem to forget that Intelligence gathering is only part of NSA's mission.
    They are also tasked with ensuring the security of the nations computers, cryptosystems and more recently critical infrastructure. But people will believe what they want to believe, so any more when people ask me if stuff in Enemy of the State is accurate I tell them 100%. They're not likely to believe that no, it could actually take weeks-months to get reliable intel data and it's usually generated by some analyst that's 17-25 years old sitting in some windowless building with a crappy computer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23, 2012 @05:35PM (#42377193)

    And who better than somebody who knows how the other side thinks?

  • So ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eric_herm ( 1231134 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @05:35PM (#42377195)

    So the NSA is looking at the vulnerabilities over stuff deployed in USA ? What is the problem ? They also have a mission of protecting and giving advice for the national security ( heck, national security agency, do people fail at english comprehension test ? ).

    NSA publish guides on how to secure linux or windows, do explain what the federal agency should do to be secured, so that seems logical to do the same for lots of things not "computer" related, if that can be used to disrupt the country. That's not different from checking a router for problem, or checking a phone if officials use them.

    That's truly a fucking non news.

  • Some perspective (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @05:38PM (#42377217) Homepage

    >hunts for vulnerabilities in 'large-scale' utilities

    It's not like they're spying wholesale on American citizens...wait, they're already doing that, too.

    I think the whole foreign/domestic spy division is pretty much gone at this point. Not saying it's right, just the reality.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @05:39PM (#42377227)

    The NSA is tasked with collecting intelligence from foreign sources as well as securing US government information systems from attack. As the private entities listed are components of our nation's critical infrastructure, keeping them secure is probably a good idea. I wouldn't wait for Siemens and its ilk to step up to this task.

    Its probably not a perfect separation of government, private industry, domestic and foreign intelligence tasks. But since the NSA has the expertise, I say let them help out. Its not like operating utilities and other infrastructure companies isn't already subject to extra regulation and oversight. Its just a shame the SEC/CFTC doesn't keep as close an eye on our banks.

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @06:28PM (#42377543)
    The same kind of people who dreamed up "Operation Enduring Freedom". At least they got the "Enduring" part right.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23, 2012 @06:36PM (#42377599)
    no, the differences be tween seeing it death on a 72' screen and watching the man/woman in front of you pulled off to the showers/killing room are so far different in reality. Now if you ask those same children or adults stop this stuff before it happens, why no they just like watching their movies with violence and killing on the tv to be concerened about the brown people being taking to the camps.
  • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @07:29PM (#42377945) Journal

    i seriously doubt it would take hours to get intel on joe blow,with all of the technology and power of the government they would know you from seed to coffin in an hour or less.

    They can assemble a lot of raw data pretty quickly, but so can anybody; for example I applied for credit at Dell they ask which street I had lived on, one was arround the corner from where I presently lived, two were out of the blue, and the correct answer was where I had lived 40 years ago when I was 10 years old! What we have to remember is raw data isn't information, it's a lot easier to take a person of interest and assemble a dossier from available data, than it is to take the raw data and deducing who the person of interest is. Even with the incredable resources the law enforcement and intelligence agencies have, most cases are broken through serendipity.

  • No surprise really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @09:19PM (#42378581)
    With the homeland security monolith growing into a huge machine that consumes cash and excretes bullshit and the FBI and CIA so dysfunctional and jealous that the FBI managed to depose the head of the CIA on "moral" grounds it actually makes sense to pass things over to a bunch that look like they actually work for a living, no matter what their current responsibilities are.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990