Sound off: WikiLeaks
“It's unfortunate that systems we build and deploy today – from cell phones to clouds – are so vulnerable to attack. Fortunately, American citizens are protected by law from wire-tapping and other forms of surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies. “But we're not protected from such attacks by foreign powers, and I see no reason that foreign intelligence agencies wouldn't be capable of building the same kinds of attack tools that were just revealed. The U.S. doesn't have a monopoly on top security expertise, after all. Better systems would be the only way to protect against those attacks. “Given that we don't invest in building more-secure systems and that the vulnerabilities exist, the loss of capability for the U.S. from these disclosures is unfortunate; it diminishes U.S. capabilities for intelligence gathering, and such information has proved useful in forming foreign policy and in focusing defense investments."
WikiLeaks published thousands of documents this week, detailing tools the CIA allegedly uses to hack into smartphones, computers and other electronic devices. Fred Schneider is a Cornell University computer science professor who researches trustworthy computing and public policy, and co-chairs the Cybersecurity Working Group at Cornell. Schneider cautions that without the investment in more-secure systems, American citizens are vulnerable to cyber attacks by foreign powers.