THE BACKLASH OF (AND HOLES IN) THE NSA SPYINGApril 1, 2014
Ever since Edward Snowden "revealed" what everyone already knew, namely, that America's Reichsicherheithauptamt... er... National Security Agency, was spying on everyone, and with the more recent realization that this was as much about the "ultimate insider trading mechanism" and monitoring international finances as it was about "terrorism," there has been a growing economic, and now as we shall see, security backlash.
For example, a few weeks ago I blogged at different times about the growing economic backlash against the USA as a result of these "revelations." Brazil, for example, which had contracts with the US firm of Boeing for fighter jets, cancelled these contracts, and placed an order with Sweden's Saab company for similar fighters with similar capabilities. Their reason was obvious: national security. Brazil simply no longer trusted the USA to provide them "backdoor free" fighters. Given that arms are about the only major American export any more (besides poisonous GMO seeds), this is not welcome news, and if the trend continues, other countries will seek their armaments from other countries. Brazil's President Rouseff additionally joined France's Hollande and Germany's Merkel in the call for the development of their own "US-free internet".
But there's more blowback on the way:
The article already hints at yet another looming economic problem:
"Remember, American and British spy agencies have intentionally weakened security for many decades. And it’s getting worse and worse. For example, they plan to use automated programs to infect millions of computers.
"How much time and productivity have we lost in battling viruses let in because of the spies tinkering? How much have we lost because “their” computer programs conflict with “our” programs?
"Indeed, Microsoft’s general counsel labels government snooping an “advanced persistent threat,” a term generally used to describe teams of hackers that coordinate cyberattacks for foreign governments. It is well-known among IT and security professionals that hacking decreases employee productivity. While they’re usually referring to hacking by private parties, the same is likely true for hacking by government agencies, as well.":
In other words, it may not be long before US manufacturers and software corporations are faced with foreign competition both in hardware and software, given growing fears of US snooping. While it is unthinkable to imagine such competition for Apple or Microsoft now, it will inevitably occur if the US and American suppliers are unable to restore trust and confidence in their products.
But there's another looming problem, and one far more serious. For all their efforts, it appears that Russia has not been merely sitting on its gas pipelines twiddling its fingers and doing nothing. Indeed, I also blogged on this site about Russian purchases of typewriters, to avoid the possibility of domestic interception of classified documents and communications, and many individuals are now once again resorting to snail mail for personal communications. Remember that typewriter thing, and check this out:
I rather suspect that more than just the White House is nervous about Russia's apparent ability to avoid the NSA's ever-sniffing nose, for such a capability is bound to have the financial oligarchs worried as well, for the lack of ability to monitor Russian military communications implies a similar lack of ability concerning its domestic electronic clearing. Of course, the Russian military is anything but incompetent, and while it could have accomplished its recent maneuvers "the old fashioned way" with radio silence, typewritten messages, and motorcycle couriers, it is doubtful that it did so. The crux of the difficulty is aptly summarized here:
"Russian leaders either 'deliberately avoided communicating about the invasion or simply found a way to do so without detection by the U.S.,' the Journal writes.