Thursday, July 08, 2010

Perfect Citizen's "Traffic Cameras"?

WSJ reported:

The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.

The world wide web could easily be part of America's critical infrastructure.

The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn't persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.

Do any sensors act as trap doors, mentioned recently as part of cyber warfare? A Pentagon official says not to worry:

Any intrusion into privacy is no greater than what the public already endures from traffic cameras. It's a logical extension of the work federal agencies have done in the past to protect physical attacks on critical infrastructure that could sabotage the government or key parts of the country.
Some might wonder the government's interest in private computer networks:

The U.S. government has for more than a decade claimed a national-security interest in privately owned critical infrastructure that, if attacked, could cause significant damage to the government or the economy.
Raytheon is the contractor for Perfect Citizen. One internal e-mail actually stated, "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother." How long will that employee last?

Personal privacy was once critical for perfect citizens. It's absence is now expected.

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