Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Government Security IT

Most Consumers Support Government Cyber-Spying 247

scurtis writes "Nearly two thirds of computer users globally believe that it is acceptable for their country to spy on other nations by hacking or installing malware, according to Sophos's mid-year 2010 Security Threat Report. And 23 percent claimed to support this action even during peacetime. Perhaps more surprisingly, 32 percent of respondents said that countries should also be allowed to plant malware and hack into private foreign companies in order to spy for economic advantage."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Most Consumers Support Government Cyber-Spying

Comments Filter:
  • Nearly two thirds of people agree with whatever their government do. Right ?

    Otherwise, how would they get elected in the first place, at least where elections do take place ?

    • So why not take the best hackers of the United States and train them to hack China, Iran, Iraq or whereever the foreign networks are? It's not like the foreign networks aren't hacking the US networks.

      Also it creates jobs. Since most people on Slashdot work in these industries imagine the amount of jobs the billions of dollars of funding will create for all of us? High paying jobs for American citizens.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ls671 ( 1122017 ) *

        Maybe they already are but are just more professional at it. Secure your homeland network better and you will sure have a better reputation on this matter. Maybe China just has a bad reputation because more bot-nets and hijacked machines run on computers back there, not because there is a higher percentage of professional hackers at work there.

        I often get reply and explanation from US sysadmins when I complain while I get typical bot-net or hijacked machines port-scanning traffic, rarely do I get replies fr

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          If 2/3 of the global population supports it, then that means that a little over 2 BILLION PEOPLE are against it.

          • 2/3rd is meaningless in itself, unless they gave us the breakup country-wise.

            For example, I wouldn't be surprised that this 2/3rd advocating government spying, constituted mostly of Chinese computer users, that have been brainwashed by the Chinese government propaganda. China is the most populated country in the world after all.

            And considering that even in USA, the other country with highest number of computer users, over half of the population voted in Bush for a second term and what with the war on te

          • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @03:18AM (#33147506) Journal

            The headline doesn't say 2/3rds of people. It says 2/3rds of "consumers" whatever the fuck they are. it could say "people", it could say "citizens". It could even, at a push, say "the public". But no - it's "consumers". So I don't think they're people, whatever they are. Maybe some sort of cow?
            • Re:Consumers! (Score:3, Insightful)

              by TaoPhoenix ( 980487 )

              2/3 of people with money to burn!

              AKA poor people don't count!

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Lusixhan ( 1491267 )

              "consumers" whatever the fuck they are. [...] Maybe some sort of cow?

              Close. A favorite passage of mine from William Gibson (by way of boingboing []):

              [...] a "consumer," what William Gibson memorably described as "something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote."

        • by euyis ( 1521257 ) <> on Thursday August 05, 2010 @04:48AM (#33147790)

          I often get reply and explanation from US sysadmins when I complain while I get typical bot-net or hijacked machines port-scanning traffic, rarely do I get replies from China. Is it because China sysadmins are all hackers or because their organization is less professional and that are just less competent and get overflodded with complain reports ?

          Just wondering... ;-)

          They don't read English and/or have difficulties writing a reply in English, and everything you can expect to get from a machine translator would be gibberish. Even if you write the letter in completely correct Chinese they still won't care, unless you are his superior and he must obey your commands - this is the typical attitude among many Chinese sysadmins.

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          Perhaps your Chinese is not clear to them and you speak the wrong Chinese dialect?

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:03AM (#33147040) Homepage

        It's called escalation idiot. Once it starts where does it stop. Why hack networks, why not cripple the hardware, it stays down longer. Main cable trunks, main network junctions, one hole, some battery acid and your down for days.

        Then why stop at network infrastructure, why not start bringing down all the other infrastructure, power, water and sewerage. Once your there why not start in on food supply, too easy, box of matches and your done.

        Escalation, escalation, escalation, that is the consequence of idiot thinking, we can do this and get away with it and they will just have to suck it up stupid brown, yellow, olive, pink, black people. You want to uphold justice then you pursue justice not unjust criminal behaviour.

        Peace brings more peace, violence propagates more violence, a willingness to break laws in other countries 'WILL' result in identical or worse, likely worse behaviour in turn. The global internet is a shared global resources, anybody absolutely anybody that attempts to corrupt and destroy parts of are committing a crime against humanity, it is a crime against humanity because of the opportunity for global communication and understanding that the internet provides. The internet is the single most important tool for global justice and peace.

    • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @10:35PM (#33146368) Homepage Journal
      I think that it has less to do with governments and more to do with the paranoid, tribalist mentality that the so-called "civillized" world is regressing into.

      H.O.A.'s, for example. Vigilante partols. "Concerned Citizens". Gang-stalking. Surges in the popularity of MMA.

      The role of the government in this case is to turn half the population against the other half to distract them from the fact that they are robbing the population blind.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by elucido ( 870205 ) *

        I think that it has less to do with governments and more to do with the paranoid, tribalist mentality that the so-called "civillized" world is regressing into.

        H.O.A.'s, for example. Vigilante partols. "Concerned Citizens". Gang-stalking. Surges in the popularity of MMA.

        The role of the government in this case is to turn half the population against the other half to distract them from the fact that they are robbing the population blind.

        How the heck do you connect gangstalking with the surging popularity of MMA, and vigilantism? Do you have a theory? Maybe you should explain in more detail in your post because you didn't make any effing sense.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          If HOA means Homeowners Association, then I see his point.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Gangstalking and vigilantism are one and the same (or opposite sides of the same coin). MMA is how they satisfy their anticipation and prepare for inter-tribal violence. H.O.A.'s are the tribes. Example:

          [ Brutish, steroid-addled fuckface walks up to me as I read a book and walk down the sidewalk ]
          Hey, how are you doing?
          - Um, good, you?

          What are you doing here?
          - I'm walking to the bus-stop down the street.
          Where are you from?
          - University dormitories.
          Where are you going?
          - A humanist meeting at
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by logjon ( 1411219 )

            What a crock of shit. You do realize that at one point in human history people were slaughtered for religion, thrown into an arena to fight to the death, and tortured for being gay/the wrong religion/funny looking? And that this was government-backed activity in the same civilized world that is now somehow 'regressing?' When was humanity ever any less violent than it is now? I'll give you a hint: never.

            Just because shit kinda sucks now doesn't mean there was any point in history that sticks out as some beac

          • Maybe its because people mistake me for a "[ Brutish, steroid-addled fuckface ]" but I have never had this problem. Generally when I'm walking somewhere people avoid me and go about their business. Honestly the biggest reason I responded to this post is because I support limited vigilantism. I don't exactly have a posse or anything but if I'm out walking around and I see a someone mugging someone else I'm going to step in.
            • by mjwx ( 966435 )

              Honestly the biggest reason I responded to this post is because I support limited vigilantism.

              The problem with limited vigilantism is that it never stays limited.

              With Police forces they have (are meant to have) strict limitations on their power. With Vigilantes they often dont know when to stop. A vigilante is just a gang that people agree with, there is no governance or moderation in their actions.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 )

            Home Owners Associations are the tribes?

            No, HOAs are petty little bureaucracies made up of rules lawyers. HOAs don't gang up on one another.

            MMA is just the modern professional boxing since the professional boxing promoters and associations became so corrupt.

          • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
            What's the point of trying to prove a point with an imaginary conversation that would NEVER really happen?
      • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @11:04PM (#33146510) Homepage Journal

        I guess MMA is Mixed Martial Arts, I've never heard of that term or acronym before.

        Humans have been into aggression for since before the dawn of the earliest civilizations, do you really think it's going to go away any time soon? Maybe you need to brush up on your history a little bit, "civilized" societies can and do go from their pinnacle to their worst in short time spans, shockingly short if there is a lot of pent-up tension. In some ways, I think it might be argued that civilized societies pretend they are free of humanity's worst aspects, when it's just denial or turning a blind eye.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dave562 ( 969951 )

          The remarkable thing is not that humans are into violence. As you've stated that has always been there. The troubling trend about MMA is the acceptance of it. I train more traditional martial arts (Chinese) and the MMA mentality is scary. Those guys have very little respect for themselves, or for others. They put themselves in compromised situations that for most participants will result in permanent, long term injuries. Contrast that with a tradtional art, where the martial exercises are there to str

          • by coder111 ( 912060 ) <> on Thursday August 05, 2010 @06:28AM (#33148138)
            If you can avoid a fight, avoid it. If you are in a fight- you must survive by any means necessary, preferably by escaping. If that fails, by using maximum amount of violence and aggression in shortest period of time possible, and by using every advantage or imporivsed weapon available. And then escaping. Fighting is scary ugly uncivilized brutal thing to be avoided, and that's the way it should be. If your martial arts instructor is teaching you anything else, find some other instructor or style.

            Regarding violence in everyday life- I don't see any of it living in the middle of London. It's all over the news, but I think that's just reporters chasing stories that sell. And there's plenty of it in movies & games, but that's because violence & sex sells. As far as I know, statistics show that violent crime in real life is declining, and has been for a while.

            I do agree that governments around the world are getting more totalitarian now, and that is scary. It's not the violence per se that scares me the most, it's the "1984" like boot stomping on a human face forever.

        • > I guess MMA is Mixed Martial Arts

          Yes. In this case mostly things like DoS Maga, ACKido, Karatelnet, Ping Chung etc..

      • by tuxgeek ( 872962 ) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @12:38AM (#33146940)

        The role of the government in this case is to turn half the population against the other half to distract them from the fact that they are robbing the population blind.

        All too true.
        The cable news media is also a tool of some political misleaders to put the nation at odds with itself.
        Anymore, I see slanted ignorant political garbage polluting public debate, which is really stupid, pathetic and counter productive.

      • by victorhooi ( 830021 ) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:31AM (#33147138)


        Maybe it's just me, and the fact that I live in Australia and not the US, but your post sounds like some ignorant, crazy little rant.

        HOA - Home Owner's Association? I'm guessing that's like, what, our Neighbourhood Watch here in Australia? Last time I checked, that was a bunch of cute little old ladies, and retired schoolteachers, who provide help to lost schoolkids, and keep an eye out for people vandalising cars or trying to break into your house....hardly menancing, and the worst they can do to you is call the police on you...

        Vigilante patrols? We don't really have that here, sorry. Maybe it's an American thing?

        MMA? Ok, now you've just gone off the deep end. I happen to do MMA, and it's just a martial arts sport, like any other. I'm actually sort of insulted that you would lump it in to your weird, paranoid fantasy.

        In fact, the people at my gym happen to be quite friendly, there's several mums/dads who bring their kids there to compete in comps. I can't think of anybody there who would fit into your weird crazy fantasy of people roving the streets a la Clockwork Orange.

        And in case you were wondering, I go to here: []

        The instructors is Elvis Sinosic and Anthony Perosh, both ex-UFC fighters. So they're definitely serious. They just happen to actually be quite nice people. I mean, I don't know Anthony, but last time I checked, Elvis is a family guy, I think, and he rescues animals on his weekends (volunteers at some wildlife rescue thing).

        You sound like maybe you've watched Hot Fuzz one too many times, and thought it was a documentary instead of a

        Look, there's no weird government conspiracy. Last time I checked, government departments were more interested in infighting, and navigating bureacratic jungles, then trying to brainwash the popluation, like you said. They can't even cooperate with each other, let alone pull off the sort of strange fantasy you've made up in your head.

        A lot of these screwups are probably due to bureaucrats with too much time on their hands, a bit of a power-trip copmlex, and not thinking things through. Sure, sounds good on paper, we'll spy on other countries to protect our citizens, but when you try to implement it in real life, it never works out that well. And like somebody else said, there's always the danger of escalation.

        Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence.


        • heya,

          Oh, and a bit of a laugh, and to anybody wondering whether violence is called by martial arts practicioners or just stupid, idle teenage bullies, who rely on strength of numbers, as opposed to any actual skill, see here...


          It's pretty ignorant that people seem to naturally assume that anybody who does any sort of martial arts, whether it's karate, tae kwon doe, or the "new" kid on the block, MMA is somehow

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          Vigilante patrols? We don't really have that here, sorry. Maybe it's an American thing?

          Yep, we also dont have heavily armed gang wars in Australia.

          MMA? Ok, now you've just gone off the deep end.

          UFC on the TV has lead to an increase in idiots that think they're tough and can fight when they're drinking. More people taking MMA and other martial arts classes has resulted in more of these idiots getting their arse handed to them. We've got a bit of a violence problem in the nightlife area's in Australia (mo

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          HOA's are more interested that you only paint your house the neighbourhood standard of beige, and you have the right light fixtures on the front than they are in crime. []
    • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @10:35PM (#33146372) Homepage

      They don't agree with "whatever the government does." They agree with their government spying on other governments. This is not new. This has always been the case. It's on computers now. So what? Same old thing.

      Your government can either believe another government's public statements or they can attempt to verify those statements with espionage. You will have far better data by doing both, which is why we've been doing it for so long.

      • by Peach Rings ( 1782482 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @10:45PM (#33146410) Homepage

        It's pretty funny how everyone was outraged when that russian spy was caught, and calling for his imprisonment or execution or whatever, but the same people give you a blank puzzled look when you point out that they strongly support espionage when it's the US doing the spying...

        • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @11:00PM (#33146492)
          That's neither funny nor hypocritical at all. At least during war, it's accepted that spying is a legitimate strategy for gaining an advantage. It makes perfect sense to want your government to gain an advantage over your enemy and to be angry when the enemy is gaining an advantage over you.

          I'm not saying that spying is justified, all I'm saying is that there's no contradiction in supporting your government spying on other countries but being angry at other governments spying on you.
          • by casings ( 257363 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @11:05PM (#33146520)

            At least during war, it's accepted that spying is a legitimate strategy for gaining an advantage

            I'm not saying that spying is justified

            I'm saying is that there's no contradiction in supporting...

            Uhh, yea it's just you contradicting yourself.

            • So you mean you can't understand the logic "my government is good, that other government is evil, so them spying on people is bad while my government spying is largely good"?
          • all I'm saying is that there's no contradiction in supporting your government spying on other countries but being angry at other governments spying on you.

            But there is. Either spying is an acceptable thing for governments to do, or it isn't. I can understand being angry about successful spying by another nation. I can understand the necessity in severely punishing foreign spies while still supporting your own. But anger or outrage that another nation would try to spy on us while being okay with us spying on others isn't logically consistent. It's sort of like invading another country and then being offended that they shoot back.

            • by Nursie ( 632944 )

              You saw what happened with Iraq and Afghanistan, right?

              We invaded and then got offended that people shot back.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Maybe it is beyond their fathoming that American spies might be less than uncatchable superhuman archons of divine justice.

          Execution makes sense for those Russian mortals that dared dabble in arts only perfectable in the name of White Baby Jesus of America.

          On the other hand, the blank stare could be a sign that you just got through to the person. Thinking new thoughts, especially ones that invalidate previously held beliefs can take time.

          It is also perfectly reasonable that the person may not have wanted t

        • Everyone was outraged? Which "everyone" are you referring to? People thought it was a cool story because it reminded them of Bond films and she was hot (with topless pics).

    • nah, just shows how sophos can make a misleading study.

    • I wonder what the answer would have been if the question was "Would you want foreign countries spying on your computer habits?"

      I was surprised and disheartened by the support for doing such things during peacetime and for economic advantages. :|

    • by tuxgeek ( 872962 )
      Funny, my government has never asked me if I approve of anything they do
      What I fear about the scums cyber spying is that they will do it to me as well
    • Yeah, I have a sinking feeling that that "consumer support" is nothing more than " lack of active consumer opposition". You can shovel shit over the counter and still make a profit, if that's what all the other shops do, too. Or "counter"="news reports" and "shops"="political parties", if you want to pretend this is really about governing (in which case "consumers" is an odd choice of word).

  • by elucido ( 870205 ) * on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @10:30PM (#33146352)

    “It’s kind of curious, because these are the people that have got no time for hackers and the bad guys at all, but seem to think it’s all right for countries to do this,” said Cluley. “I think they need to remember that, one day, it might be a country attacking your company’s network, and trying to infiltrate it, and how are you going to feel about it then?”

    Hire people like us thats what you do. Information security professionals know how to deal with malware attacks, just as nationalist cyber armies know how to attack and infiltrate. This creates jobs for both sides so it's not really a bad thing for most of us on Slashdot. Also how long did we really think we could go around being ignorant of security procedures and leaving networks open to infiltration? It's time that corporations spend the money necessary to defend from infiltration and it's time that the government create their elite army of hackers that they keep hyping up and talking about.

    Let the cyberwarfare begin.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dr Max ( 1696200 )
      Thats cool with me. That also means the government shouldn't turn around and get their knickers in a knot if some guy hacks into NASA; while they want to install Trojans in china.
      • by Korin43 ( 881732 )
        No no no, you don't understand patriotism at all. It's OK if we do it. If they do it, they're evil terrorist scum and should die (preferably after being tortured).
    • by sedmonds ( 94908 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @11:49PM (#33146742) Homepage

      This creates jobs for both sides

      It may create jobs, but they do not create value. These jobs are an economic drain. As usual, people who act like douchebags ruin it for the rest of us.

      • It may create jobs, but they do not create value. These jobs are an economic drain.

        Every time there's a data breach and thousands or millions of credit card/social security/other records get jacked you and I lose.

        Poor network security is just another way that companies privatize the profits and socialize the costs.
        If companies were liable for the full cost of data breaches, they'd have their shit locked down tighter than the NSA.

        And everyone benefits, because those best practices will filter down to the companies with only their own intellectual property at risk.

    • Hire people like [me]... ... Let the cyberwarfare begin.

      You don't seem to realize you're warmongering for profit.

      You expect consultant fees to install a firewall for small and medium business. What's needed as not to build a new, bloated military industrial circus is someone who does your job for peanuts. (I know how to do that in scale. Hire me instead.)

  • by RocketRabbit ( 830691 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @10:36PM (#33146376)

    I like how we are merely consumers and no longer Citizens now.


    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I like how we are merely consumers and no longer Citizens now.


      Corporatism, baby. Eventually, all countries will be governed the same way: for the corporation; by the corporation. The government will be to give us consumer/workers a legal framework.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ergrthjuyt ( 1856764 )
      False dichotomy. I'm both a consumer and a citizen, aren't you?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rubycodez ( 864176 )

        no, "a citizen and *producer*"

        there are *consumer parasites*, they are the central bankers and megacorporate elite with our lawmakers in their pockets

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        What is telling is the language used. When considering matters of cyber-spying, you should shut off your "consumer" brain and do your duty as a citizen.

        Newspeak at work in the real world.

      • Not a customer? How strange.

      • by selven ( 1556643 ) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @06:39AM (#33148188)

        No, I'm a customer and a citizen. 'Customer' is a relationship with a company, and implies that you deserve some kind of 'customer service', while 'consumers' just stand there with their wallets open ready to snatch at whatever the next commercial tells them to.

  • Patriotism (Score:2, Insightful)

    Nobody's national anthem begins with "We're Number Two!" So naturally, they believe that they're most entitled to rule over everybody else. However, every country has this attitude. Therefore, nobody will have any privacy until they reject that patriotic sense of entitlement.

    • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @10:48PM (#33146438) Homepage Journal

      Nobody's national anthem begins with "We're Number Two!"

      Obviously, you've never been to Canada.

    • Victor Borge: Many years ago in Denmark we had inflation, and you are familiar with that problem. In inflation, we have numbers rising. Prices go up. Anything that has to do with money goes up...except the language. See, we have hidden numbers in the words like "wonderful," "before," "create," "tenderly." All these numbers can be inflated and meet the economy, you know, by rising to the occcassion. I suggest we add one to each of these numbers to be prepared. For example "wonderful" would be "two-derful

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Then the Spanish have a great idea: no text.

    • Our national anthem never even mentions superiority in any way. It is mostly about the beauty of the Norwegian coastline, and how we managed to overcome German occupation in WWII ( though, by the hand of God, not by help from British, American and Soviet soldiers.)
  • as long as people identify themselves as french, or muslim, or black, or brazilian, or christian, or asian, or whatever

    before they identify themselves as human

    when you identify your nationality, or your religion, or your race, as your primary source of pride and your primary source of identity, you are what is wrong with this world, you have just committed the original sin, which allows all the wars and transgressions and crimes you see in this world to take place

    pride in some arbitrary signifier, above your basic humanity, is the opening move in the game of dehumanizing all other nationalities, or religions, or races, and thereby accepting or rationalizing or acknowledging, even if simply by staying silent, atrocities against other, fellow, human beings

    you can still be proud of your nationality, or your religion, or your race, of course

    as long as you identify as a human being, first and foremost, above and beyond anything else, and you know that your pride in your nationality, religion, or race, is but a triviality, not a serious factor in your life

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @10:45PM (#33146416)

      the true source of conflict in this world is: scarcity of resources

      • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
        The source of scarcity of resources is unchecked demographics.
        The source of unchecked demographics is the fact that being more numerous is a military advantage when a tribe wants to overwhelm another tribe.

        Therefore, we have to have a demographic policy that aims at a stable population, it needs to be globally coordinated, therefore we need to stop bitching about nationality and adopt a global reform.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tehcyder ( 746570 )
        No, it's the inequality in distribution of resources that causes the problem.
    • amen brother

      • amen brother

        You realize you just labelled the parent and probably yourself as male, and that gender, more than race or religion, is the single most obvious way to differentiate humans?

        I was originally going for funny, but there's a serious note to this. Just as there's never-ending conflict between the two fundamental halves of humanity, male and female, we'll never eliminate the identities we give ourselves and others. An us-versus-them mentality is inherent to the species, from countries and race, left-versus-right w

        • Human language is just as imperfect as the wretched beings who designed it. I try make a point by being direct as possible. I'm not really all about political correctness and that shit. Does it really matter if I happen to call a woman my brother. When you call someone your brother, you're calling them family. Had I used the word 'sibling' instead of 'brother', I feel my post would seem much less personal, which was what I was aiming for.

          In the spirit of brotherhood, I am not trying to flame or argue -

          • Now that my mind is running about this, I think I would go as far as to say that identifying ourselves as human first is even selfish. We share this planet with so many different forms of intelligent life. Animals and plants which have been here much longer then ourselves - each living being with it's on personality, emotions, desires, and place in our ecosystem. It is far past the time for us as a species to realize this fact, and change our ways. We must treat all animals the way we would like to be t

    • there will never be peace in this world as long as people identify themselves as french, or muslim, or black, or brazilian, or christian, or asian, or whatever can still be proud of your nationality, or your religion, or your race, of course

      How can you be proud of something without identifying with it?

      Sorry, but your wish is an impossible pipe dream. Humans are not wired that way, they will quickly group and self-identify at the drop of a hat. Just look at highschool! This is not learned behavior

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      DoublePlusGood! When people ask me what my nationality is, I answer with the nationalities my parents and my sister has. That is 4 of them. To even confuse them more, I tell them the nationality where my name came from and the country I live in. That places me a bit around the world.

      And then there are people who ask me where I was born or even what age I am. When I ask them "And what are you going to do with that information?" people look at me with a blank stare. Who cares if I am born in whatever country?

  • by adosch ( 1397357 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @10:46PM (#33146422)
    The mocked up stats ITFA almost seem pretty skewed. I love how the central polling audience are called 'computer users', then went on to ask them their opinions VERY in-depth topic that only someone who loathes in technology for pleasure, employment or both would understand (e.g. DDoS). Since my wife is a 'computer user', I'll make sure to ask her what a her stance on using DDoS attacks against foreign banking institutions and after being drawn in by her blank stare, have her call me a 'nerd' after the fact. Whole article sounds superficial to me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cosm ( 1072588 )
      Honestly, I agree call bullshit on this one as well. Do a random sampling of 10 people. Ask this "Do you fell alright knowing the government is listening to your phone conversations and has the ability to tap all of your wire-traffic, unwarranted?" I imagine you will get resounding NOs. Then ask 10 other people "Would you sacrifice some digital privacy in light of the terrorist threats after 9-11?" The results will be much different I assume. Now I did not read the full article (or any of it, who has time?)
      • Of course it's legitimate. Why would someone selling security software mislead you about foreign government cyber warfare against your business?

  • are clueless idiots.

    Move on, nothing to see here.

    Seriously, it drives me up the wall that most people don't care about their on-line privacy, or if their accounts get compromised, or if their personal data is sold to Russia somewhere.

    So why would these clueless dolts not support this sort of crap "against other people?"

    After all, they have nothing to hide....

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @11:00PM (#33146494) Journal
      And 72% of news articles misrepresent the news. Seriously, the vast majority of the poll respondents (or shall I call them consumers?) were opposed to governments spying during peacetime. The majority were ok with it during war, but presumably dropping bombs on a country is significantly more serious than cyber-espionoge, and frankly I wonder why anyone would be opposed to spying if we are at war already. It might end the war earlier and save lives on both sides.
  • Peacetime? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by straponego ( 521991 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @10:52PM (#33146458)
    What's that?
  • Half the respondents were from China, where they figured "spy on our enemies" felt like the lower risk answer.
  • Err, when is 32 percent equal to most?

    However 32 percent supporting government spying is terribly frightening.

    • by bsDaemon ( 87307 )

      Well, if the questions are about spying on foreign countries, then I don't have a problem with it, really. What's the difference between the CIA paying for a file clerk to pass them a copy of an embassy document and the NSA hacking into a file server and pulling the copy themselves? Stuff like that has been going on since the dawn of time and always will. No news there, and its completely different from warrant-less wiretapping on fellow citizens.

      However, I do have problems with being referred to as a co

  • ...evolution is dead. At least for us.

  • Gur evtug bs gur crbcyr gb or frpher va gurve crefbaf, ubhfrf, cncref, naq rssrpgf, ntnvafg haernfbanoyr frnepurf naq frvmherf, funyy abg or ivbyngrq, naq ab Jneenagf funyy vffhr, ohg hcba cebonoyr pnhfr, fhccbegrq ol Bngu be nssvezngvba, naq cnegvphyneyl qrfpevovat gur cynpr gb or frnepurq, naq gur crefbaf be guvatf gb or frvmrq. (For our snooping friends :-)
  • by quickgold192 ( 1014925 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @11:31PM (#33146656)
    The bigger question is: how many people support domestic cyber-spying? I can see support for foreign espionage, since it's widely assumed that every country does that anyways, but in my little circle of acquaintances I have been seeing more and more people actually support and push domestic spying as not only acceptable but something to be praised.
  • by yuna49 ( 905461 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @11:37PM (#33146684)

    I scanned the actual Sophos report and nowhere did I see a presentation of how the sample was drawn, how it's distributed across countries, of the level of sophistication of the respondents. At a minimum, I'd like to see the sample divided out by countries or regions. Talking about "computer users globally" requires some substantial documentation before I'll believe they've even come close to drawing a world-wide sample, much less one that is statistically representative of computer users worldwide. How many people did they interview in China, India, or Kenya? How was a "computer user" defined? Any study as bold as to claim that it represents the attitudes of "computer users globally" needs a lot more documentation than the article or the Sophos report provide.

    The most telling statistic on the kinds of people who might be in the sample comes from responses to the question "Do you think you will quit Facebook over privacy concerns?" If you believe the data from Sophos, Facebook should be seeing a mass exodus. About 18% of the respondents say they've already left Facebook for this reason, and another 30% claim to be "highly likely" to quit. It's hard to take these figures seriously when Facebook just recently reporting having over half a billion accounts.

    By the way, the section of the report entitled "No OS is Risk Free" talks only of Windows and OS/X. While I don't think Linux is "risk-free" either, I'm guessing Sophos writes reports for organizations on the platforms that generate its income. Sophos is hardly a distinterested party when it comes to evaluating operating systems and platforms.

  • On *Other* Nations (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @11:41PM (#33146698) Homepage Journal

    I don't see why this is so surprising. Most people recognize that their own governments spy on other countries as part of legitimate defense of their country.

    Of course, the question asked by the media is far too broad to be meaningful. They don't ask whether they support their government spying on other countries when it's not legitimate defense of their country. And they don't ask whether they support their government spying on their own country, whether it's "legitimate" defense of their country or not.

    Or whether it's ever legitimate to spy on their own country, violating their fellow citizens' rights instead of protecting them, when there's no probable cause, warrant or other due process. No data on where people accept that line being drawn inside their own country.

    So the results are really just another straw on the camel's back of innuendo that pushes headlines about "people support being spied on". Because the corporate mass media and its ecosystem of spook-infested think tanks are so corrupt, lazy and complicit in the globe's many and interlocking police states that all they can do is sell us lies to con us into allowing our own governments to spy on us.

  • tribalism == groupthink == Weapons of Mass Delusion

    Biggest threat to civilization, ever.

    How to fix most of the world's problems, in one step:

    1. Replace tribalism/groupthink with globalism/egalitarianism
    2. Profit!

    I won't live to see it. Roddenberry didn't.

  • Now how many of those people had any idea what any of those words meant?
  • Baahhhh... (since one could reasonably assume that this survey just proves that most people are like sheep).

    Because only a 'sheep' would follow the herd without knowing the fine details.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:43AM (#33147386) Homepage Journal
    Well obviously most of them are, given the number of botnets around, but I bet if you asked them if they were "for" foreign hackers draining their bank accounts and leaving them with shitty credit for most of a decade, they'd be a little less inclined to agree. If you asked them if it'd be OK to remove them from the Internet if they were found to be compromising its security, a lot of them wouldn't be for that either. And if you told private companies that you were going to start holding them accountable for flaws in the security of their software, they'd squeal like stuck pigs.

    In short, all those people agreeing to that crap would probably not be so keen on the steps it would require to insure our security in a world where that behavior is commonplace and acceptable for all governments. Nevermind that we should have been taking those steps for the past several decades because like it or not, that's the world we're heading to.

  • Soviet Proverb, "I know how I feel about being spied on, but I don't know you."
  • As per the title, this is a cultural thing as much as anything. Bear in mind I'm writing this as a Brit, so this is my own interpretation - it may be totally wrong but I'm sure anything that bad will be corrected, complete with sarcastic comments about my mental capacity.

    Whoever you are, I am 90% certain that had you spent every hour of your waking life being essentially indoctrinated into believing your government was all-benevolent, only ever looking out for your interests (unlike those pigs in ${COUNTRY

  • Spying or inserting malware on foreign nations computers could lead to violence. A cyber attack can be deadly serious and causing a constant expense to protect oneself can ruin any real chances for commerce or even survival. I highly support strategic attacks upon any nation that even allows private industries to spy across borders. Perhaps we need to be punitive enough to make it clear that the last thing any nation wants to do is allow these cyber attacks upon us.

  • Guard dog sellers publish "survey" that says most chickens think that "our chicken-coop should have more of 'our' foxes".

  • "You mean 'country'."

    "What did I say?"

    -- Larry Sanders and his agent.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.