CIA and the intelligence components of the things

Pierluigi Paganini March 16, 2012

Unfortunately, we rarely stop to reflect on the reality that surrounds us and the potential of the devices we use every day in the office, at home and when we’re out. The technology behind each of them has became the main architect of their operation and no matter whether we are talking about our phone or about refrigerator in our kitchen.
More and more devices are connected to network, exchange information, talk to each other sometimes getting rid of many concerns and facilitating our daily lives. So our refrigerator alert supermarket because our favorite jam is about to end or because the gluten-free products we use are under escort. A huge amount of valuable information useful for many purposes, from the commercial to military.

The major intelligence agencies in the world are aware of the problem which is deemed by many as the new frontier of espionage. Being able to enter the life of any citizen from his TV or his oven. If you think you are mistaken paranoia, that information really fannogola many public and private, are a mine of information, the new essence of power.

The issue is extremely delicate and deserves careful study, these devices that can provide all kinds of information on our experience, can be controlled remotely to spy on us, even worse may be deliberately tampered with remotely to cause damage.

Obviously, these aspects should be studied and should be called a cyber strategy that takes into account the intelligence components of the things that surround us.

CIA Director David Petraeus during a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm said has allerted the community about the emergence of an “Internet of Things”, he said:

“‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” 

“particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.”

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low cost, and high-power computing,” “the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.”

Clear the message sent from an exponent of intelligence. Agencies like the CIA are very interested to talk intelligence, the ability to intercept and steal secrets without any effort, simply accessing through an appliance or our gaming consoles. Although many agencies have a lot of legal restrictions against spying on American Citizens but in this area there is still to much to do.

Let’s consider ambient geolocation data from devices is a grayer area, especially after the 2008 carve-outs to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Manufacturers collect and store geolocation data coming from their devices, to easy for government track customer in this way.

If agencies like the CIA rejoice aware that they can have powerful new tools to monitor, new issues emerge on the front of the internal security of a nation. As pointed out, to share the same awareness, there are criminal organizations, groups of hackers and not the last hostile governments.
Imagine if in the future a virus instead of attacking your pc may take possession of your TV or worse can remotely manage your home automation system. They could remotely control your home, even worse, cause accidents, cause destruction.
We must take in care the diffusion of this utilities in a nation and we can correctly size the threat. As has been increased media attention on the vulnerabilities of critical structures, same approach must be followed to manage issue of intelligence computing of many commonly used devices.

I conclude with a reflection, considering that the technology component is steadily increasing in every sector in despite the crisis, it is expected to develop new opportunities for developing of home security systems linked to the management of the issues described … maybe near to counter of the utilities we soon find in our houses a firewall installed.
Who will manage this firewall? The big brother of course 😉
Pierluigi Paganini

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