U.S. Agencies Said to Swap Data With Thousands of Firms
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.
335 million Americans is a tiny index for the big data folks. Bolt on banking feeds, emails, phone calls and other assorted goodies and it's still not that much of a challenge technically.
The challenge is ethics or lack thereof when people wake up in the morning and get paid to spy on their neighbors. I'm also thinking that the "thousands of firms" involved with this surveillance get some hefty benefits, being a member of that club certainly has to have upside. Of course it should be obvious that we are talking "brands" here, those with existing market crunch, tax breaks and favorable legislation. I'm sure it will take awhile to unwind that ball of string.