Obama creates exception for NSA to exploit internet security flaws

The Heartbleed bug is making some Americans question whether the US government would publicly disclose such a flaw or keep it secret in the name of national security purposes. Now it seems the authority is coming directly from the top to do the latter. President Obama has given permission, in the event of “a clear national security or law enforcement need,” for the National Security Agency to exploit security flaws that it discovers without alerting companies or the public of the bugs.

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The decision, reported by The New York Times, was made this past January as part of a review of recommendations for reforming the NSA. Officials in the administration tell the Times that Obama decided that the NSA should disclose flaws to the public,…

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