Researcher Argues For Open Hardware To Defend Against NSA Spying

Antone Gonsalves | CSO | October 10, 2013

Expert claims open source hardware enables better detection of backdoors or vulnerabilities

While there is no foolproof defense against government spying, snooping by entities like the National Security Agency could be made far more difficult through the use of Internet infrastructure built on open-source hardware, an academic researcher says.

In an Op-Ed piece published Tuesday in The New York Times, Eli Dourado, a research fellow at George Mason University, argued that companies using open hardware would be in a better position to detect backdoors or vulnerabilities planted by the NSA or any other government agency.

"To make the Internet less susceptible to mass surveillance, we need to recreate the physical layer of its infrastructure on the basis of open-source principles," wrote Dourado, who is with the technology policy program at George Mason's Mercatus Center.