Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reporting On Secret Government Activities Is Not Easy

This is a lengthy description of the contacts between the reporters who dealt with the NSA contractor who disclosed NSA's extensive electronic spying operations.  It reads like a spy novel but it is very informative.  The reporters had to take the batteries out of their cell phones because they knew that the government could listen to their conversations even when the cell phones are turned off.  They provide spy agencies with a microphone that can be used to eavesdrop on anyone possessing a cellphone.  It is also necessary for reporters to encrypt their communications with sources because NSA has access to every Internet message sent by reporters.  Even encrypted messages are at risk if the encryption software is not super powerful.  NSA has access to networks of computers that can use brute force to make trillions of guesses to uncover passwords.  The bottom line is that government has powerful tools that threaten the privacy of its citizens.  We can only hope that these tools are not abused by government.  The safe guards against abuse are not very strong.

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