Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Infrastructure Security - Perfect Citizen

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that the NSA started a program called 'Perfect Citizen' and has put software sensors in the computer systems that drive this countries key infrastructures. I guess that seems like a good idea, if we know for certian that they work and the people looking at the data know what they are looking for. Are the claims of 'Big Brother' just noise to reinforce some peoples naive view that everyone will just 'play along nice.'

I would suspect that private industry is clever and motivated enough to keep their technology secure, but sometimes I wonder. Not long ago I thought Wall Street investment banks were clever enough to keep from going out of business, and as documented in 'The Big Short' by Micheal Lewis, we know what happened. Does drive for short term profit really cause senior managers to overlook the fundementals? Is security one of those fundementals?

Government run facilities and 'utilities' to me seem another story completely. Are the people that run these organizations really equiped with the people, technology, and motivation to keep systems secure from outside threats? If there is at least a bit of concern, what's wrong with another set of eyes from the NSA keeping tabs on malicious threats. We all know they are there and that the next war will be fought with silicon rather than steel.

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