After seeing a very brief notice in the USA Today about the NSA using back-doors in Microsoft’s operating systems to spy on people’s computers, I did a web search and am sharing with readers of my blog what I found.
The first link asserts that Microsoft has actually gone so far as to share the back-doors in its operating systems with the NSA before notifying anyone else about them. Microsoft’s back-doors are called “universal unpatched holes,” and since Microsoft gives the NSA access to its operating system’s back-doors, the question is asked at the link: “Why would anyone trust Microsoft again?”
Amazingly, the second link reports that as far back as 1999, a European computer publication revealed that “The NSA access system is built into every version of the Windows operating system now in use (emphasis added).” The link also reports the FBI wants software programmers to place “back-doors in all software,” and that Microsoft was surprised to find an unexplained “third key” in its access systems to facilitate infiltration of all Microsoft operating systems. Readers who are computers “techies” will likely understand what a “third key” means; I admit I don’t comprehend this technical term.
The third link is a USA Today story that is a very watered-down website version of the original article that appeared in the print version of that publication on 12-18-13. The authors of both articles and the title of the article are identical, but the content is different. For example, the first paragraph in the third link is incomplete. The original print version added the words that tech companies wanted the government to allow the tech giants “to make public in greater detail the government’s demands for user information (emphasis added).” Note the word “demands” and contemplate the Orwellian implications that the US government has been making secretive “demands” for users’ information. Given the many revelations of an almost-universal disregard for the US Constitution’s 4th Amendment in the NSA’s global spying operations, I’ll bet these “demands” rarely included any search warrant granted by a legitimate, non-FISA court. The print version of this USA Today article also includes the words that the “international furor over the Snowden revelations threatens to create a costly problem for American tech companies if countries push forward with plans to foil US spying (emphasis added).” Oh, foreign nations are already taking steps to wall themselves off from US tech companies? It further noted that a Yahoo executive warned President Obama that Brazil is moving to pass legislation to create “disparate international standards for storage of users’ data,” and that she further warned such actions could lead to “technology companies [building] data centers in each country (emphasis added).” Do you grasp what this means? It means other nations, enraged by the NSA’s spying programs under the Obama administration, are taking steps to build non-Microsoft data-storage and operating systems in their nations so that the NSA has no back-doors to use to spy on citizens in those nations. Indeed, unless Congress slaps firm laws against the unbridled NSA spying programs, it could lead to a situation where American data systems will simply be rendered illegal in other nations because of the risk of NSA infiltration. If this occurs, Americans will also want and demand the security afforded by non-Microsoft and non-American data storage systems. If this occurs, it could bankrupt many American tech companies.
The fourth link offers readers many links that will give you more information on this critically-important and incredibly under reported matter. Of particular interest may be the link that states Apple does not allow the NSA to utilize back-doors in its operating systems.
There may be hope yet. Both Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress are calling for reining in the NSA and Obama is now considering a report that would put at least a few limits on the NSA. However, Congress is very good at making statements and very bad at actually doing anything meaningful. Obama is not likely to do more than make cosmetic changes, in my expectation. Also, if tough legislation is passed making the NSA’s meta-mining of data illegal, will it apply to all federal agencies? Will it apply to contractors of federal agencies (Edward Snowden was merely a contractor, remember)? Also, private companies have amassed massive amounts of information about you, me and everyone else via our computer usage being monitored and profiled for advertising purposes. Will any prospective legislation forbid private companies from doing what the NSA is doing? If not, expect the NSA to simply “farm out” its meta-spying operations to the private companies and then have those private companies give all the secret data to the NSA.
A federal judge has issued a “stinging rebuke” to the NSA that indicates the NSA’s spying operations are likely to be found unconstitutional (see last link). This ruling contradicts rulings made by the NSA’s in-house FISA “court” that pervasive spying on everyone, everywhere and in all ways possible is OK with the Constitution. Of course, the FISA “court” is little more than a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NSA so one would expect such a ruling by them. FISA rulings are tantamount to a ruling by a court of the “foxes” (in which no “chickens” are allowed to participate) that it is just fine for the foxes to guard the chicken coop. The article also cites a 1979 ruling in which the Supreme Court “denied privacy protections to telephone records.” However, that ruling predated the invention of the internet, emails, cell-phones, etc. so it has no contextual relevance to modern electronic systems and access to their records. That 1979 ruling never considered electronic records and the need for warrants for government access to them. However, let me conclude with this question. If the Obama administration and the NSA decided (laughably) that it was “Constitutional” for the government to open everyone’s postal mail, take photos of all the contents and store those photos forever before re-sealing them and delivering them to their addressees, would you consider that “Constitutional” under the 4th Amendment against “unreasonable” search and seizures? I’ll bet the entire nation would rise in outrage against such a Gestapo-like action. However, based on Snowden’s revelations and subsequent media articles, it seems evident that that is what is happening already to all your emails and your data storage devices.
All the massive spying systems being set up are paving the way for a future global leader of a new prophesied “beast” system which will have wall-to-wall pervasive monitoring and control of financial transactions (Revelation 13:16-18). We are fast moving toward such a pervasive data monitoring system already. Whatever the intentions of any “good guys” who set up the NSA’s all-pervasive spying program, biblical prophecy makes it clear the “bad guys” will eventually take over the ownership of all the data…everywhere. Then an Orwellian and evil system world will descend on the earth and only the return of Jesus Christ will overthrow and utterly destroy the system the “bad guys” put in place (Revelation 19:11-20:4). God has allotted only 42 months for the “bad guys” to govern the earth (Revelation 13:1-5). After that time, their time will be over…forever. Indeed, the bad guys will likely have less than 42 months to dominate the earth because Jesus Christ prophesied the end-time prophetic timetables of “days” will be shortened (Matthew 24:21-22). I hope he shortens those days a lot.