US spooks wants to take on hackers

US secret police say that they have all the skills needed to take out the threat of hackers in the land of the free. The only problem is that they have a pesky law which prevents them from spying on their own citizens.

According to Reuters, a former spy boss claims that US intelligence agencies have unique capabilities that can help protect American companies from cyber espionage and attack, but it will probably take a crisis to change laws to allow that type of cooperation.

Currently intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) are authorised to operate abroad but generally are restricted from spying within the United States,

Mike McConnell, former director of national intelligence, said that it will take a banking collapse or electric power goes off in the middle of a snowstorm for eight weeks, before the politicians will have the will to do something.

Last year the House intelligence committee gave the thumbs up to a bill that would allow US spy agencies to share cyber threat intelligence with private companies.

McConnell said there were unique things that the government can do, such as code breaking which could put the fear of the goddess in hackers.

McConnell said that if the NSA, which conducts electronic eavesdropping to detect foreign threats, observed a cyberthreat against the U.S. private sector, “NSA is powerless to do a thing other than issue a report.”