The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed “Perfect Citizen” to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants
The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government’s chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure
Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million
Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs
A U.S. military official called the program long overdue and said any intrusion into privacy is no greater than what the public already endures from traffic cameras.
Well, and there’s an argument to be made that those traffic cameras are themselves an invasion of privacy that is not offset by the benefit that they provide. Also, there is an ongoing legal debate about the constitutionality of such cameras, with a number of states ruling that they are not, in fact, constitutional.
Officials are unable to describe the full scope of the problem, however, because they have had limited ability to pull together all the private data.
Oh, so they don’t have evidence because they don’t have enough ability to capture private data. So the reasoning is that we should give them a great deal more power so that they can collect the necessary evidence to justify the power they were given.
The classified program is now being expanded with funding from the multibillion-dollar Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, which started at the end of the Bush administration and has been continued by the Obama administration, officials said.