Criminally insane irresponsibility led to modern ‘hacker’s paradise’
RT:A lot of people are trying to make a link between these revelations and the NSA. Are you surprised by that?
Robert David Steele: Well no. But I really want to emphasize that the clock started ticking here in 1988. It was in 1988 that when Schwartau wrote the Terminal Compromise, which was actually a fictional scenario in which the NSA was described as actually doing this very thing. Nineteen eighty-eight. In 1990 when testifying to Congress; and in 1992, as I recall, when NII started the first information warfare conference.
And what I really want to emphasize to everybody who is listening and viewing is that for 25 years not only has the US government has refused to be responsible about cyber-security, but they have allowed the NSA to put it in so many infantile backdoors, that it was the NSA that created the hacker’s paradise, nobody else.
RT:Why do you think it’s taking so long to come to the fore, do you think?
RS: Part of the reason I believe is that most hackers are good people. They have not sought to take advantage of what is really criminally insane irresponsibility. For instance SCADA systems, the supervisory control and administration systems, for power, for financial, for banks. All of this has been known since 1992 to be exposed and vulnerable. And I think the bottom line here is that most people are good people and they have not been taking advantage of this, and the minor loses that have resulted have been too small to cause real pain. Now real pain is being caused and we are essentially paying for having been irresponsible since 1988.
RT:What can be done to make sure things are secure?
RS: Open source is absolutely the only technology that is affordable, interoperable and scalable. And I wrote about it in my last book, The Open-Source Everything Manifesto.
The bottom line here is that the proprietary code, is generally crap. It is undocumented crap that is not properly vetted. And I love the line at Sky, they say, that if you put enough eyeballs on it, no bug is invisible. Well the only way you’re going to get secure communications and computing software and hardware is to create it openly.
RT:There are people out there who says that all this high level espionage does not really affect me – what do you say to that?
RS: What troubles me most is that we have a whole series of Western governments that are nothing more than paper tigers. Christopher Hedges has written a wonderful book on the Triumph of Spectacle. Our governments are actually not working in the public interests. And so when your bank account is zeroed out by somebody who has been able to come in because your bank, your government have been negligible, that is when it is going to hurt you personally. Your government is not representing your interest.