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Der Spiegel Looks into NSA Hardware-based Spying

As we have repeatedly reported on these pages, the NSA has been on a privacy busting rampage for several years now. The word is out regarding its snooping on private citizens, private phone calls, it even got into the mobile phone of the Prime Minister of Germany. In fact, the NSA knows no bounds. It even spied on Israel, the United States closest ally in the Middle East. How ridiculous is NSA surveillance? Very. Case in point: NSA agents have even been posing as players on World of War Craft and Second Life in trying to bust Islamists conspiracies. Of course, no such conspiracies were found and no such online terrorists were found on those online communities. I guess, they were too busy killing dragons.

Be that as it may, the NSA is this one giant electronic eye that is paying attention to global electronic comumnication. If this is not enough to make you really paranoid, wait, there’s more. According to the German news outfit Der Spiegel, the NSA has two units called TAO and ANT. These units are more elite than the other divisions of the NSA. How elite are these guys? They actually use back doors of common hardware that consumers use to communicate. They have the programming skills to get around the hardware security architecture of major component manufacturers like Cisco and Huawei. Why is this a big deal? Well, chances are you are reading this story on a computer that is connected to a router that is either made by cisco or Huawei or Dell computers or chips that they are involved with. Regardless, the ANT and the TAO can work around hardware based privacy protection and security protection to get to your data. Are you scared now? Wait, there’s more. Not only do they have the know how to override hardware protection they can also use secret backdoors to snoop on you. These software backdoors exist in all programs. So they can use all these technological backdoors to figure out what you are doing, what websites you’ve been watching, what websites you’ve been reading, what You Tube videos you’ve been watching, what websites you’re paying attention to, who are you talking to online, so on and so forth. Very scary stuff. If you haven’t read the book 1984 by George Owell Now is probably the time to do so.

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