Governance & Risk Management , Incident & Breach Response , Managed Detection & Response (MDR)

Why It's OK to Hack for Spying

Audio Blog: Security Experts See Nation-State Snooping as Norm
Why It's OK to Hack for Spying

Get over it. The breaches of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the pilfering of top American government officials private emails, presumably by the Chinese government, are part of an acceptable form of spying. All nations with the technical means do it.

"The NSA is not earning their money unless they're trying to do the exact same thing to the Chinese, the Russians and everyone else," says Vincent Houghton, historian and curator of the International Spy Museum in Washington, referring to America's electronic-spy agency, the National Security Agency.

Reports that the Obama administration is considering retaliating against the Chinese for hacking OPM computers and pilfering the personal information of some 22 million individuals perplexes national security experts. Spying, after all, is considered the world's second oldest profession.

"The only real difference [than in the past] is the method of collection in this case," Houghton says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. "The method of collection is through hacking."

In this audio blog (click player below the photo to listen), you'll hear:

  • Houghton put into historic perspective espionage in the Internet age;
  • Peter Swire, Georgia Institute of Technology law and ethics professor, explain why lawmakers and citizens are growing more weary of e-spying; and
  • Jason Healey, senior research scholar in cyber-conflict studies at Columbia University, discuss the impact of spying as results of cyber-breaches on millions of individuals previously directly unaffected by espionage.

Around the Network

Our website uses cookies. Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing, you agree to our use of cookies.