Meet MonsterMind, the NSA Bot That Could Wage Cyberwar Autonomously | Wired

Edward Snowden has made us painfully aware of the government’s sweeping surveillance programs over the last year. But a new program, currently being developed at the NSA, suggests that surveillance may fuel the government’s cyber defense capabilities, too.

The NSA whistleblower says the agency is developing a cyber defense system that would instantly and autonomously neutralize foreign cyberattacks against the US, and could be used to launch retaliatory strikes as well. The program, called MonsterMind, raises fresh concerns about privacy and the government’s policies around offensive digital attacks. [Read more]

Masters of the Internet: GCHQ scanned entire countries for vulnerabilities | RT

GCHQ is scanning servers in multiple foreign countries for vulnerable ports, according to German newspaper Heise. Using a tool called Hacienda, the intelligence agency seeks to ‘master the internet’ for sources of espionage.

Spanish for estate, Hacienda can port scan all of the servers in a country to provide information on user endpoints and scan for potential vulnerabilities. The ability to port scan is not new, but the scale of its use by government spies, with 27 countries scanned by 2009, has shocked many familiar with the software. [Read more]

Scientists, Not Politicians, Should Regulate NSA Surveillance | Motherboard

The raging public debate over the surveillance state could actually benefit from the expertise of an unsuspecting source, a recent academic article suggests.

Instead of relying on the myriad privacy and legal experts, congressmen, or former NSA directors chiming in on the NSA surveillance state, a new article in Science argues that we should really be asking more scientists what they think about domestic signals intelligence for American policymaking. [Read more]

How to Save the Net: Break Up the NSA | Wired

By treating the Internet as a giant surveillance platform, the NSA has betrayed the Internet and the world. It has subverted the products, protocols, and standards that we use to protect ourselves. It has left us all vulnerable—to foreign governments, to cybercriminals, to hackers. And it has transformed the Internet into a medium that no one can trust.

The world has changed dramatically since the NSA was founded 62 years ago. Back then, it was easy to spy on foreign governments while shielding our own from snoops. Today, the NSA’s intelligence mission has expanded from just government-on-government espionage to government-on-population surveillance. At the same time, the communications world has shifted from dedicated circuits that can be passively tapped to a single global Internet infrastructure that requires active attack to eavesdrop on. Everyone uses the same networks, and creating the capability to eavesdrop on foreign communications by engineering backdoors into US technology leaves domestic transmissions vulnerable to eavesdropping. The NSA’s aggressive data-gathering, with seemingly little regard for how that might compromise the security of everyday digital communications—and with only loose oversight (at best) by government watchdogs—has far exceeded what any modern and free society should reasonably expect. Breaking up the agency would do a lot to bring it under control. [Read more]

GCHQ accused of scanning entire nations for hacking vulnerabilities | BetaNews

The UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spy agency has been exposed scanning entire countries for server weaknesses that allow it to exploit vulnerable ports. According to reports, it does this using a tool called Hacienda, which is Spanish for estate.

The accusations came out in German newspaper Heise. “In 2009, the British spy agency GCHQ made port scans a ‘standard tool’ to be applied against entire nations,” Heise reports. “Twenty-seven countries are listed as targets of the Hacienda”. [Read more]

Our weird robot apocalypse: How paper clips could bring about the end of the world | Salon

Nick Bostrom is explaining to me how superintelligent AIs could destroy the human race by producing too many paper clips.

It’s not a joke. Bostrom, the director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, is the author of “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies,” an exploration of the potentially dire challenges humans could face should AIs ever make the leap from Siri to Skynet. Published in July, the book was compelling enough to spur Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla, into tweeting out a somber warning: [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-vr – Michael’s Blog

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