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NSA Takes Over Internet Security from DHS

That’s not exactly what this article says–but it’s close. The NSA–our nation’s most effective spy agency–is going to adopt major new duties in policing our public internets.

In a major shift, the National Security Agency is drawing up plans fora new domestic assignment: helping protect government and privatecommunications networks from cyberattacks and infiltration byterrorists and hackers, according to current and former intelligenceofficials.

[snip]

The plan calls for the NSA to work with the Department of HomelandSecurity and other federal agencies to monitor such networks to preventunauthorized intrusion, according to those with knowledge of what isknown internally as the "Cyber Initiative." [my emphasis]

Note the sources and level of classification and the implications of this move.

Details of the project arehighly classified.

[snip]

Current and former intelligence officials, including several NSAveterans, warned that the agency’s venture into domestic computer andcommunications networks — even if limited to protecting them — couldraise new privacy concerns.

[snip]

"If you’re going to do cybersecurity, you have to spy on Americans tosecure Americans," said a former government official familiar with NSAoperations. "It would be a very major step."

[snip]

A former senior NSA official said the difference between monitoringnetworks in order to defend them and monitoring them to collectintelligence is very small.

The former officials spoke on condition of anonymity to protect relationships with intelligence agencies. [my emphasis]

I’m guessing George Bush is going to be at least as pissed about this story getting out as he was pissed about the hospital confrontation story getting out. They’re planning to spy on Americans, this is a big new deal, and they’re not actually telling us about it.

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