The United States has officially allowed itself to hack any computer in the world
Originally appeared at Rusplt, translated by Solomon Black exclusively for SouthFront
The US Supreme Court granted the long-standing aspirations of the local Ministry of Justice and the US intelligence agencies to “hack” computers around the world- to combat terrorism of course, and not for the sake of curiosity. However, any clarification is unlikely to appease rights activists as well the common people. People who do not suffer from any kind of paranoia but simply value the integrity of personal space.
The US Justice Department insisted on the introduction of relevant amendments to the federal criminal law since 2013. The agency’s position can be divided into two components: a) It is necessary to fight against terrorism, and all legal means are good for that b) the existing legislation is vulnerable, and it allows villains to insolently use “anonymizing” software and other technical gadgets to conceal their identities. In addition, they allege, that only remote requests are able to provide cover for this perverse practice.
Google is in shock
The proposed expansion of rights to special services in the Ministry of Justice of the United States is considered “minor”. It also seems that these parties are genuinely puzzled about the ferocity of the cries of human rights defenders and their shouts to go back to the “Constitution”. The constitution contains a direct prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. By the way, a murmur of protest from Google’s side was increasing in strength. The motive of the IT-giant turned out to be the same – undisputed state control of people’s computers across the world doesn’t go along with the philosophy of privacy, which the Western world claims to cling to. By the way, with public protests out in the open, opponents of the legislation do not hide the fear that the FBI will now be carrying out a massive hacker attack on computer networks around the world. Why would Americans distrust their own secret services? This could be due to two reasons: either liberal zealots around the world are all the same and do not trust law enforcement bodies as a whole, or that our Russian/home-grown “рукопожатным/Rukopozhatnym” have to admit that the American realm is just not all that “great”.
Fascinatingly, critics of the Supreme Court’s decision are actually people in power. Representing Oregon state, Democratic party senator Ron Wyden immediately labeled the decision as a mistake. He adds that it is unacceptable to allow American law enforcement officers to freely invade the private cyberspace. “Under the proposed rules, the government would now be able to obtain a single warrant to access and search thousands or millions of computers at once” the senator said in rebuke. He further stated that the majority of the searches would affect the victims, not the perpetrators, of a cyber-crime.
The Senator points out that arising problems around allowing such unlimited access for secret services will not go in vain since amendments to the legislation itself are yet to be approved by the Senate. However, legislators have to together quickly to challenge the decision by December, 1st of this year. Otherwise, the Supreme Court will have the ultimate say on the matter.
“But even if they have time, would that really matter?” Igor Ashmanov a leading expert in cyber security commented for “Russian planet”. He adds “Americans believe in the principle of their total jurisdiction all over the world, and I do not quite understand why such formality is being introduced into the game. Why are they letting the Supreme Court make this call, when the FBI can invade the privacy of any computer user in the world without any formal approval from the Court. all of us have long been told so by Assange and Snowden “.
“The Antidote” to this scourge could only be in the form of a “project”, laments Ashmanov. It is necessary to “import substitutes” into the field of information technology to solve such problems, but ” this will be a very long journey to undertake”. We too, think that it is hopeless. This is because, high-end technologies have an extremely unpleasant “concerning” feature, and that is “cost”. They require huge monetary investments. Also, understanding the importance of informational and technological sovereignty of any nation, is something that is yet to be taken seriously by the USA.
Composure aside, recent cyber-security and privacy alarms from overseas are becoming more regular. For example, in November 2015, the UK saw echoes of the current decision of the US allowing intelligence agencies to monitor networking activities of their targets on the Internet, and even without a court order. An important detail, which follows from the document itself: a subject can theoretically be anywhere, including Russia. However, our special services and those in charge seem to react to this news as a kind of internal matter of a sovereign state.
Just recently, President Barack Obama called on EU countries to unite efforts to combat cyber-terrorists, including those listed by the Russian federal communications service (Roskomnadzor). The response from the Islamist group of hackers “Cyber-khilafa” did not come late, as to mock the USA. They broke into the local network of the State Department. it is too bad that the American administration has to deal with such evil; they deserve sincere sympathy. There are many such incidents. So, the threat is real, and it is dependent on cyber-technology.
Yet again, we see how a group of people is lacking the ability to control this imperfect world. ironically, their efforts have nothing to do with improving their own nation’s security.