The NSA, Cisco, And The Issue Of Interdiction


It’s been a hectic week of NSA news in light of Glenn Greenwald’s recently published book, which furthered the revelation that the NSA intercepts (interdicts) hardware from US companies. The agency then reportedly compromises the equipment before it is delivered to overseas customers.

Published pictures imply that Cisco technology is part of the class of equipment captured in-transit, before it is received by foreign buyers, and weakened so that the NSA might have greater insight into activity that it helps maintain. In short, the NSA is allegedly hacking American hardware that is sold abroad.

This is akin to what the United States government has warned that Chinese companies are doing on behalf of their local government.

Today, a letter from Cisco CEO John Chambers enjoyed wide circulation. It states that if the NSA revelations are correct, and the pictures accurate, the actions of the agency “undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability [of] technology companies to deliver product…

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