Snowden's 'Biggest Victim': 'Star Wars' Cyberdefense
NSA head Gen. Keith B. Alexander has been pushing plan
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2013 7:30 AM CDT
This June 9, 2013, photo provided by the Guardian newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden.   (AP Photo/The Guardian, File)

(Newser) – It looks like Russia-US relations may not be the biggest casualty left in Edward Snowden's wake. The New York Times today reports on what one senior intelligence official calls "Snowden’s biggest single victim": a planned "Star Wars" cyberdefense. Sources tell the paper that NSA head Gen. Keith B. Alexander has been a major proponent of the plan, which would likely require congressional approval and is all but doomed in the face of current privacy concerns, reports the Times.

Though "the plan was always a little vague," per the official, it would ostensibly have the NSA (or ISPs working under its orders) reviewing far, far more than the 1.6% of Internet traffic it on Friday admitted to "touching." The Times explains the mechanics of the proposal:

  • "The government would latch into the giant 'data pipes' that feed the largest Internet service providers in the United States." The huge volume of traffic that runs through those pipes, particularly emails, would be scanned ... other 'metadata' would be inspected for evidence of malicious software."
But Snowden is not the first wrench in the NSA's cyberattack defense plan. The domestic defense of the Internet falls under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security, and it has argued that Alexander's approach would militarize our cyberdefense, when it is in fact Americans who should first be tasked with safeguarding their systems.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Aug 13, 2013 1:06 PM CDT
Oh yeah, relations before ware marvelous! I'm glad BO didn't get us nuked.
Aug 13, 2013 12:24 PM CDT
The NSA , CIA and FBI CI6 all protected me from a foreign tasking order in the 1980's. Today, these good people are (like all Americans) caught up in the fascism of Dick Cheney and the "Full Spectrum Domination" that his PNAC 1997 calls for. I know Dick Cheney. I know what an unhappy person he really is. All of us have a heart. I have started a revolution with FBI approval: HEARTVOTE (com)
Aug 13, 2013 11:23 AM CDT
Great, finally the found the scapegoat to ax the program which wasn't good in the first place. How they can keep everything on computers, knowing that there are privacy concerns, shouldn't there be something like off line system. We have so many people there making good money without worry of being fired, so it seems that they are just a pencil pushers, nothing else.