The New York Times has a damning article on the NSA and its spilled secrets. It goes into depth as to how the Shadow Brokers have disrupted NSA operations and destroyed the morale of its employees. In a sense, nothing in the article is new news to those who have been paying attention but it is damning to see the whole thing laid out in one place.
The article ends with a discussion of the cost and ethics of the NSA’s holding on to vulnerabilities for their own use rather than reporting them to the vendors. Given the damage that the release of their “hacking” tools has caused, that’s a necessary and even urgent discussion to have.
To me, though, the biggest takeaway from the article wasn’t mentioned: Why would/should we trust the government with backdoors to our cell phones and encryption when their premier security agency seems unable to protect its most important secrets? I have no doubt at all that if they were to get their lusted after “golden keys” they would soon lose control of them and put every person on the planet at risk from criminals. That last statement doesn’t include threats from nation-state actors and the existential threat that could represent to folks like reporters and dissidents in some regimes.