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The Spying Capabilities of US and Russian Surveillance

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Micah Lee from The Intercept wrote a very interesting article on the indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller whose job is to investigate the hack of the Democratic National Committee. You might remember Micah's name from his QubesOS talk I wrote about.

Besides the political impact, the article is quite interesting because it describes the astonishing spying capabilities of US-based agencies and Russian-based spies in great detail.

Some takeaways are listed here.

Attack attribution is quite hard to do.

You can't resist a targeted attack (often called TAO).

If you did not know it, any US company may be forced to hand out your data to US agencies without knowing why and what happens to it.

The anonymity of crypto-currencies is more than questionable.

Wikileaks is far from being a neutral source as one might have thought.

As a personal side-note, all these very advanced malware and hacking capabilities of spies around the globe adds another very good argument against voting machines. I have mentioned the insecurity of more or less all voting machines or e-voting platforms in the past.

Only recently, xkcd has published a comic that visualizes that even the IT professionals (also creating e-voting technology) warns of trusting this kind of technology.

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