CIA's Shrugtastic Response To Hacking Apple Security: 'It Is What It Is' And 'That's What We Do'

from the meh dept

We just had a story based on the Intercept breaking the fact that the CIA holds an annual hackathon (the CIA calls it a "Jamboree") to come up with new ways to hack secure systems, inviting in various contractors and government agencies. Much of the work is focused on hacking Apple's security, inserting backdoors and generally degrading security and encryption for everyone.

The CIA refused to comment on the Intercept's original story, but the reporters got former FTC official Steven Bellovin to sum it up as:
“Spies gonna spy,” says Steven Bellovin, a former chief technologist for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and current professor at Columbia University. “I’m never surprised by what intelligence agencies do to get information. They’re going to go where the info is, and as it moves, they’ll adjust their tactics. Their attitude is basically amoral: whatever works is OK.”
Now, "unnamed" anonymous CIA officials seem to be picking up where that shrugging comment left off. Talking to CNBC reporters, the CIA folks give similarly "meh" kinds of responses:
"That's what we do," the official said. "CIA collects information overseas, and this is focused on our adversaries, whether they be terrorists or other adversaries."
Except, of course, they don't just spy overseas. The CIA has done domestic spying as well, and the descriptions of the projects don't just impact people overseas. And then there's this one:
"There's a whole world of devices out there, and that's what we're going to do," the official said. "It is what it is."
It is what it is. That's someone who clearly doesn't care one bit about the negative consequences of attacking security and inserting backdoors that can harm everyone, just so long as they can also spy on people they don't like. You know, like the US Senate.

Filed Under: backdoors, cia, encryption, hackathon, jamboree, privacy, spying, surveillance
Companies: apple


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2015 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you don't like it, vote a different person in... The problem with America is our memories are too short.
    We have demanded instant gratification for almost every part of our lives... this includes politics and policy. How else do you explain the Patriot act and Obamacare?

    We always root for the underdog. How many of our sports icons or celebrities have had comebacks after a drug addiction or illegal activity and we cheer them on? The same holds true for our politicians.

    Why do you think this email issue with Clinton is coming out now? It wasn't the republicans that exposed it. Will it still be in the news in a year and a half when the elections roll around or will it be long lost and forgotten in the smoke of so many other scandals and outrages?

    How much recent news has there been concerning Ferguson? How long ago was it?

    We as a people need to begin to have a longer memory, so that when those in charge don't do what they were elected to do, we vote them out... or we get the rules changed to put term limits on all offices.

    Our elected offices were originally meant to be part time gigs, more like jury duty than a career.

    To blame the game and not the players is wrong on every level. The players are what make the game great or not.

    We are all playing the game. so instead of raging against the machine, jump in and drive it.

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