This might sound really weird, but I don’t mind if the CIA is hacking me. Google and Microsoft already know a lot about me, so why not the government? I understand that this is a pretty naive approach, but for the most part, I trust the government.
In addition, chances are the government isn’t listening to my conversations specifically, they are just gathering general data, whether that is for speech recognition or whatever else.
However, being careful about something like this is very important. For example, in the book 1984 by George Orwell, there are telescreens (devices that let the government watch and hear citizens) in every room. Government members listen to every conversation so no one can say anything bad about the government. The CIA’s hacking measures seem a bit like this, but also very different.
While in 1984, citizens know they are being watched, up until this week, U.S. residents didn’t. On the other hand, though, in 1984, conversations are listened to very carefully, whereas it is unlikely that anyone affiliated with the CIA will ever listen to my smart TV’s microphone, let alone read this article.
However, there are definitely good uses for the CIA’s hacking. For example, let’s take the case of a terrorist driving a car down a highway. The CIA hacks the car and is able to control the driving mechanism. Instead of risking the lives of many police force members, they veer the car off the road and into the barrier, killing the terrorist driver. Not only has the CIA saved citizens from the obvious dangers of terrorism, they have saved other drivers and CIA agents from getting hurt in the murder.
In addition, this shows that the CIA is pretty technologically up-to-date, which makes me feel safe as an American. The fact that they are doing very advanced hacking techniques means they know how to deal with new types of threats, which is extremely important in the ever-changing world.
To me, unless you are either keeping secrets from the government or generally very nervous about privacy, this shouldn’t worry you. The government has good intentions for America, and any hacking they are doing is likely just for research or crime investigation.
I’m more worried about what could happen if someone got their hands on the library of hacking techniques and code the CIA owns. You never know what kinds of sleazy people are out there.