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It has been estimated that TAO has successfully hacked into, and is currently extracting information from, over 80,000 computers worldwide. According to the Chief of TAO, who has spoken publicly on this program, there are things you can do to limit their ability to hack you systems. He mentioned limiting access to important or private information only to those who absolutely need it, not lightening security ever even temporarily, and making sure to shore up any cracks in your security no matter how tiny they may seem. This being said
he implied that while this would make is job more difficult it would not prevent you from ultimately being hacked. He also mentioned zero day exploits, flaws in programs or systems that have yet to be discovered and are therefore vulnerable to exploitation. He said that to date only a few of these types of flaws have been discovered but it is a sure bet more will be found in the future. This includes flaws in home networking systems and home security. In addition to these types of governmental agencies of which the TAO is only one among many, the ability of our population to know enough about computers to hack for fun or for serious exploitation is growing as our young people are gaining increasingly technically complex instruction about computers, programming, and infrastructure. With government surveillance, surveillance by citizens for fun or to gather information and monitory peoples’ activities, store and street video cameras, and private cameras set up outside and inside residences, not to mention surveillance from other countries gathering intelligence of this countries systems, it is hard to imaging anywhere or anytime we might not be under surveillance. Where we have come to and the potential for even further exploitation of our privacy and personal information that gets accidently scooped up with
actual targeted data like dolphins when they are fishing for tuna would like have given even George Orwell nightmares. Most of what we know about developing governmental surveillance programs and America’s growing hacking efforts comes from top secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden, infamous whistleblower who handed documents to journalists and is still on the run.