Wow, it’s been a while. I’m sorry for going silent. I’ve been busy learning the ropes of fatherhood. I recorded this episode way back in July, and ever since, I’ve been trying to find a time to package it up.
Jeffrey Carr of Taia Global is the first person I look to for a global picture of cyberwarfare, which is exactly what I’ve found lacking for English news coverage of NSA surveillance: The U.S. is doing this, but are other countries doing the same? Are foreign leaders outraged because the US’s actions are out of line with global doctrine? Or are these leaders simply playing along, safeguarding the fact that they, like all other nations past and present, have spied on others to the greatest extent of their ability? I’m not saying the answers to these questions make the difference between right and wrong. I’m saying that the broader context is critical to understanding what is going on, and that we can’t solve this problem without that context.
There’s no way an 60-minute conversation can tell you everything you need to know. My goal for this episode was to give myself, and all of you, some basic knowledge on a very difficult topic. We cover some other stuff as well: the NSA’s dual missions of cyberdefense and offense; the questionable veracity of signals intelligence; and why superpowers are not the real threat to global cybersecurity:
As somebody who is in the profession of information security, I would like to see the NSA be clearer about its role in terms of defending our network versus finding ways to break into a network, and find a way to accomplish that mission without weakening the technology that we rely upon to defend our networks.
Footnotes for this episode:
- Waasenaar Arrangement (Wikipedia)
- NYT’s coverage of the Greenwald report on surveillance of American Muslim leaders
- Judge Leon’s opinion on the metadata lawsuit, and favorable coverage from The New Yorker.
- Judge Pauley’s opposing opinion (different lawsuit, same issue), and favorable coverage from Slate.