Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hackers: New allies in war on terror

LAS VEGAS: US federal agents are reaching out to computer hackers for help fighting crime and terrorism as a tug-of-war between privacy and public safety continues on the Web.

The National Security Agency (NSA), the department of defence and the FBI were among the spy, military and police agencies represented at DefCon, an international gathering of hackers in Las Vegas.

Lawyers from the foundation are spearheading litigation accusing the NSA of illegally snooping on e-mail and telephone communications. NSA vulnerability analysis chief Tony Sager gave a talk at DefCon, saying the agency was increasingly sharing information with the public in the hope computer wizards wherever they may be become allies in cyber security.

Hacker Roger Dingledine is working on an "anonymity network" called Tor that bounces Internet traffic off "about a thousand" computer servers to thwart tracking who is doing what online.

"The NSA spent decades trying to do things themselves and that didn't work. I'm happy they realise other people can help," he said.


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