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Published:December 2nd, 2009 21:00 EST
Does Homeland Security Have A GhostNet To Keep Track Of Americans?

Does Homeland Security Have A GhostNet To Keep Track Of Americans?

By Robert Paul Reyes

 "A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded.

In a report to be issued this weekend, the researchers said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved."

The New York Times

All of us are familiar with malware designed to infiltrate our computers without our consent or knowledge, and almost all of our computers are infected with spyware that tracks our online behavior. Those responsible for malware and spyware are computer nerds and common criminals.

It`s not just teenage hackers and Nigerian scammers that pose a threat to our online safety, as this New York Times article illustrates governments are also in the business of eavesdropping on Internet users. 

The Chinese electronic spying operation (GhostNet) was was directed at the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. But I wouldn`t be surprised if China and Russia have other GhostNet projects aimed squarely at the United States. 

I hope that the CIA is taking serious precautions to safeguard our military and intelligence computer systems. I`m confident that they are running their own GhostNet operations to keep track of our many enemies throughout the world.

But what I fear the most is that the Department of Homeland Security has a GhostNet operation to keep track of Americans. Under the guise of fighting terrorism the Bush administration wiretapped the phones of Americans without obtaining a warrant from the courts.

The major themes of the Obama administration are change and transparency, with that in mind the president should declare that he will never allow Homeland Security to install malware on the computers of private citizens without court approval.

I ain`t afraid of no ghost, but I am afraid of GhostNet ,and I hope that the American Civil Liberties Organization protects our computers from being iinfiltrated with malware by our own government.