The Hacking Of The NSA Website Will Be Bad News For Freedom In US

Saw this last night through Drudge:

The website for the United States National Security Agency suddenly went offline Friday. has been unavailable globally as of late Friday afternoon, and Twitter accounts belonging to people loosely affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivism movement have suggested they are responsible.

Twitter users @AnonymousOwn3r and @TruthIzSexy both were quick to comment on the matter, and implied that a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, may have been waged as an act of protest against the NSA…

Allegations that those users participated in the DDoS — a method of over-loading a website with too much traffic — are currently unverified, and @AnonymousOwn3r has previously taken credit for downing websites in a similar fashion, although those claims have been largely contested.

Some people thought this was funny. I don’t.

First of all, even though I don’t think the perpetrators should have done it, I get nauseous thinking about what the people in the US government might do to them if they find whoever did it. The penalty could far outweigh the crime.

But, more importantly, this will be used to back up the NSA’s own story about how dangerous the internet is and how much we need to give more power and money to the NSA so they can “protect us from cyberterrorism.”

That’s what always happens. The NSA has boasted about protecting the internet. This should demonstrate that the agency is incompetent to make that claim. But government organizations are never discredited by their epic failures—failures that would cause a private company to go bankrupt. Every failure is treated as proof that the government needs more power and more money.

In particular, TechDirt reports that there is an anti-NSA bill on the horizon:

We already knew that Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner was getting ready to release a major new anti-NSA spying bill called the USA Freedom Act, and Derek Khanna has just revealed many of the details of the bill, scheduled to be introduced in both houses of Congress this coming Tuesday. It will be backed by Sensenbrenner in the House and Pat Leahy in the Senate, and will have plenty of co-sponsors (already about 50 have signed up) including some who had initially voted against the Amash Amendment back in July. In other words, this bill has a very high likelihood of actually passing, though I imagine that the intelligence community, and potentially the White House, will push back on it. For Congress, gathering up a veto-proof majority may be a more difficult task.

The bill would end bulk data collection, reform the FISA court so the accused has an advocate and precedent-setting decisions are declassified, and allow companies to reveal how many times they are ordered to turn over private data.

An attack on their website is exactly the kind of convenient incident the NSA can use to drum up support and oppose that bill. “With the nation constantly under attack, this would be the worse time to blind and tie the hands of our national security!”

Any problem is presented as an excuse to violate our freedoms.