One of the latest revelations from the Edward Snowden leaks is that CIA has been taking unusual approaches to collecting information from surveillance targets.
The CIA claimed to have tools that would be used to hack US-based developers in order to insert back doors into the developer’s programs. These back doors would then be used for surveillance of targeted individuals.
The trouble with this approach is that the CIA is incapable of controlling which end users have back doors installed. Every single user of a targeted program is not only vulnerable to CIA attacks, but is also vulnerable to attacks from foreign governments (or whoever else might be interested).
To put this in perspective, this is the modern equivalent of the CIA degrading the quality of steel used by a US-based company to produce safes, just in case the CIA needs to be able to quickly break into a safe used by a target someday.
To quote one of the people interviewed in the linked article
It may be a means to an end, but it’s a hell of a means.
The whole article is pretty long, but I really think that this is something that all Americans should at least be aware of, if not completely outraged by.