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Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

spy vs. spy vs. spy

Somebody in Washington has some serious egg foo yung on their face today. After weeks and months of self righteous saber rattling and chest beating about the extent of Chinese hacking in this country comes word that we have been maybe the worst offender of all, sucking up the entire backbone of many important Chinese data systems, both in Hong Kong and on the mainland. Oops.

Of course, it is always different when we do it.
“We hack network backbones — like huge Internet routers, basically — that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” he told the newspaper.
According to Snowden, the NSA has engaged in more than 61,000 hacking operations worldwide, including hundreds aimed at Chinese targets. Among the targets were universities, businesses and public officials.

Papers, we will need to see your papers...

Germany has its schnitzel in a snit as well, on the heels of news that the Deutschland was the most spied on country in the world thanks to our cool new toys and spy gear. The timing of the disclosure could not come at a more problematic time for our great leader as he is set to visit the country on wednesday.

Germans are comparing the United States data collection methods to the dreaded East German Stasi secret police tactics from the late cold war. I believe that the best defense in this case will be a vigorous offense. How about something on the order of this: "Hey Merkel, an American named Al Gore invented the friggin' internet and we'll use it any damn way we please. Got it?" 

All kidding aside, one must assume that President Obama is at least responsible for the adoption of a sizable amount of the new data technology. With over a half a million people in the need to know loop, surely he had to know that the day might be coming where he would have to defend spying on one of our closest allies. It was probably easier in the old days. There was a general belief and quaint notion that a gentleman did not read another gentleman's mail. Have a nice time, Mr. President.

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