Post #1 student 1 Dennis

This is a summary of “How the NSA threatens national security,” posted by Bruce Schneier for The Atlantic on 6 Jan 2014 at This article is not particularly recent, but the issues involved certainly still are.

This article is sometime after the Snowden revelations, in the midst of continuing leaks. Schneier makes the observation that the surveillance state is robust politically, legally, and technically. By that, he means that it is well supported politically and therefor monetarily in Congressional budgets, has a strong legal basis insofar as it is very difficult to challenge, and is very technically advanced, using numerous techniques. For all this, he argues that we have very little to show for it besides a massive bill, with even official reports of plots prevented dubious at best.

However, I believe the most important part of this article is the argument made for the costs beyond our Treasury, to both diplomacy and especially society. The NSA’s actions have increasingly isolated the US diplomatically and commercially, as countries lose trust in the US and the products of the US tech industry. Congress has been unable to provide any meaningful oversight of these secret programs, nor are citizens made aware of what is happening to be an informed decision maker. Laws which are in place are largely reinterpreted to the point of sidestepping and ignoring. Trust in the Internet as a system is eroded, limiting the technical and economic gains which could otherwise be realized.

Of course, there is also the more face-value concern of entering into a surveillance state and the potential abuses that go along with it. All of these concerns are existential threats to Liberal (capital “L”) democratic state and the freedoms and civic responsibilities inherent to such systems.

Post# 2 student 2 Abdulelah

RE: Weekly Summaries

The article I will focus on in this week’s discussion is ‘Harvesting Attacks’ & the Quantum Revolution published on September 30, 2019, in the Darkreading website and can be accessed at—threats/harvesting-attacks-and-the-quantum-revolution/a/d-id/1335870

The article presents vulnerabilities and threats of the information age and the opportunities created for nation-state attacks at their consequences. Attackers use the opportunity to explore sensitive networks such as malware in the US military contractors and banks, among others. The nation-state attacks put on risks sensitive data and property and also risk the shutdown of critical systems (Prisco, 2019). The US and China in the game of cybercriminals and cybersecurity are on the verge of developing quantum computing to identify advanced cybercrimes. Sensitive information stolen by China from the US government increases the risks of more harvest attacks (Prisco, 2019). The article extensively explains the risks quantum powered attacks can cause, such as revealing cloaked secrets and physical equipment for manipulation by other states. Funding quantum defense is critical in cybersecurity.

What is interesting about nation-state conflicts resulting from cybercrime as presented in this article is the technique utilized in causing monetary, intellectual knowledge, and physical harm to other nations. As stated by Waddell (2016), different methods such as scaring citizens, provide pitfalls for cybercrimes. For example, the explosions believed to have injured President Obama Whitehouse, and within seconds the attacker had accessed sensitive information. As stated in the article, developing shared new computing technology is essential to have efficient solutions to nation-state cyberattacks. The National Science Foundation in the US focuses on research to establish computing resources for efficiency and defense (Singer, Friedman, 2014). As stated in the article, massive attacks entail storing sensitive information related to payloads for an attack to occur. Nation-state most challenging aspect is the attribution of cyberattacks, as stated in the article on China’s invasion. The most interesting concern about nation-state cyberattacks is the increasing deterioration of relations such as the US-China that have both economic and social impacts. The relationships also increase suspicions that China’s government is behind most cyberattacks in the US.


Waddell, K. (2019, Mar). The Rise of Asymmetric Cyberwarfare

Singer, P. W., & Friedman, A. (2014). Cybersecurity: What everyone needs to know. OUP USA.

Prisco, J. (2019). ‘Harvesting Attacks’ & the Quantum Revolution. Retrieved from—threats/harvesting-attacks-and-the- quantum-revolution/a/d-id/1335870