Thursday, July 08, 2010

NSA Program Sparks Big Brother Fears

Amber Corrin writes on

The National Security Agency's (NSA) new program to shield the networks of privately owned utilities and other critical infrastructure companies has caused some people to fear it's a step toward a surveillance state or a government power grab.

Named "Perfect Citizen," the plan is designed to detect cyber assaults that could potentially threaten critical infrastructure, which includes the electric grid, power companies, nuclear power plants, transportation, health care facilities and other necessities of modern life, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). It would also deal with the networks of defense contractors and companies such as Google, which asked NSA for help after a major cyberattack last year.

The government would deploy sensors on the privately owned networks to identify unusual activity that could signal a potential intrusion or threat, but would not necessarily continuously monitor the networks.

According to the report, Raytheon has received a $100 million classified contract to start work on the program. No comment was available from either the NSA or Raytheon.

More here.


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