Will the usually obscure Internet Engineering Task Force – that open-to-anyone group of engineers who design and keep the ‘net functioning – step up and fight back against mass surveillance? That possibility is now in the air, following a talk in Vancouver today by cryptographer Bruce Schneier (see “Bruce Schneier: NSA Spying is Making us Less Safe”). He laid partial responsibility of the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance on the IETF’s doorstep.
“Fundamentally, surveillance is a business model of the Internet. The NSA didn’t wake up and say: ‘Let’s just spy on everybody, it said: ‘Wow, corporations are spying on everybody, let’s get ourselves a copy,’ ” he said, referring to the cloud computing providers and others who warehouse data. The NSA found the Internet quite easy to tap in various places; as a result, “The NSA has turned the Internet into a giant surveillance platform” that is robust both politically, legally, and technologically, he added.Should Internet Engineers Make It Tougher for NSA To Monitor? [technologyreview.com]
My first thought is to fully honeypot all access points. I think trying to keep the NSA out is a losing proposition but if you make it impossible to access data without leaving a record of your visit you can then use that data to monitor the NSA back. Google has made great advances in monitoring OUR behavior, it's time they figure out how to watch the NSA.
They don't like being watched and may tread more lightly even if they do have gag orders in place preventing the disclosure of their activities. It's my understanding that the NSA only has the power to enforce non-disclosure policy in the United States.
Well I guess that Google knows how people on the web feel about their behaviour based advertising now. :) As with most things, keeping things working is a tradeoff between what features you would like and what features you can have and still keep your system working. The happy-clappies are all a bit upset with the revelations but most techies worth their salt already suspected that NSA had such means and systems in place anyway.