Rather than reading a typical news article, I found this TED Talk about government surveillance. Its about 9 minutes long, and I would definitely recommend watching it if you have the time.
The speaker, Christopher Soghoian, speaks about software that governments around the world can buy in order to hack into personal computers and other devices. I was very surprised by this because, while I wasn’t aware of the extent of government’s hacking capabilities, I always assumed that these governments had to create their own software. I never imagined that private companies sold their software to any government. This doesn’t seem reasonable to me. What if this private company sells their software to a government that is at odds with their own? How can they be comfortable knowing that governments might use their software for evil, rather than good?
In addition, I was surprised that many countries buy the exact same software from companies. There are many different companies and therefore, different software. But it is very possible for multiple countries to use the exact same program. I don’t know very much about computer science and the details of computer hacking, but it seems like this could cause problems. If governments can hack personal computers, it seems like it would be far too easy for governments to hack others governments. Is this acceptable? Is this safe?
Promotional videos from private hacking software companies: