As the Snowden crisis continues to shake some agencies in the US, a leak arose revealing that the Obama administration has permitted an internet hunt for any malicious computer hacking being carried out by unscrupulous persons or companies residing outside the US. The news came to the forefront after classified documents belonging to the National Security Agency (NSA) became known some time ago.
It all started in 2012 when lawyers of the Justice Department gave the go ahead to the NSA to hunt every possible lead for hackers operating from outside the country who might be hacking into US databases. Through two secret letters written by the lawyers, the spy agency was given the go ahead to start secretly checking internet cables for any foreign intrusions taking place on the internet. The document went on to give permission to the agency to check and monitor suspicious traffic that passes from various internet addresses and any practices of malware taking place. All this was supposed to be done without the agency using a warrant. Although the NSA could not find any wrongs done by foreign powers, they made it known to the Justice Department that they should be given permission to start targeting hackers operating on US soil as well. All this was revealed as Edward J. Snowden funneled documents concerning secret information to giant news agencies the New York Times and ProPublica.
As financial institutions in the US continues to feel the brunt of unprecedented cyber-attacks, the Obama backed government is sending a strong signal in support of the NSA’s tactic in trying to trap cyber hackers. Government’s reason for backing the agency is that they have a responsibility to protect US citizens from interference from aggressive persons residing outside the country who might intend to do damage or steal information through the internet. However, US citizens are not seeing eye-to-eye with the government. Instead, citizens are of the opinion that the matter should be one that is debated among all concerned parties and not for the government to make a ruling. However, while citizens might only be able to voice their opinion and not get back a worthwhile answer from the authorities, the Obama government will have the final say.
Hacking can be a lucrative business. A single hacker can make tons of dollars by just using his or her signature alone. Still, with such an imminent danger facing the US, the NSA must select their targets well in order to stop or at least limit any private information from being stolen.
In the past, the NSA has been involved in a number of controversies with government. However, in regards to protecting US citizens living in the country from either forking out billions of dollars as payoff to hackers or losing valuable information to unscrupulous persons, both government and agency are trying to work closely together to stop cyber-attacks from happening in US territories.
The leaked documents sent by Snowden revealed that the NSA carries out its functions by mainly intercepting over a billion communications taking place by people all over the world. The document further reports that the agency monitors millions of cellphone conversations taking place all over the world.
Today, Obama is making his intention known about the need for more transparency. However, is transparency really, what the American people want? Like most people, almost everyone wants their conversations remain secret and thus they find the NSA a bothersome nuisance.
As the Snowden problem continues to show signs of getting out of hand, agencies are seeking for a solution to the crisis. Still, so far, the NSA is standing its ground that they aim to hinder as much cyber hacking as possible. At this time however, the public can only watch and wait to see how far the agency will get with their method of dealing with information theft.
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