Top 5 Linux references in pop-culture
The NSA – the United States’ National Security Agency – moves in secret circles. Do they exist? Well, that bit is pretty certain. But do they listen to your phone calls? Do they mandate backdoors into your computer? Rumours and fears abound about the powers the NSA may or may not exercise.
In fact, by even mentioning them perhaps this site is now being monitored. Assuming it wasn’t already. Nevertheless, the NSA are often in the legitimate news within North America.
Back in 2006 President George W Bush said he didn’t seek congressional approval for a warrantless domestic eavesdropping program for one simple reason: he didn’t need it, he asserted.
This was just one of several elements in the NSA spying debate that arose when the program was revealed at the beginning of that year.
Possibly interesting stuff, but it’s tangential to what I want to show you. During that controversial period the President took a super-secret tour of the super-secret NSA’s super-secret hideway in not-so-secret Fort Meade.
Actually the tour may not have been all that secret because evidently a horde of media accompanied the Presidential entourage. And what’s exciting is a shot of Bush along with Lt. Gen. Keith B Alexander (director of the NSA) and William Marshall (another NSA top brass.)
This picture appeared on television and in major print publications like the Washington Post, Newsweek and more, along with daily newspapers.
Emblazoned clearly on the wall behind them is a screen listing the latest tool versions of such open source security perennials as Ethereal, Nessus, Nmap, Cain and Abel, Metasploit, Snort and Kismet. The name, date of last release, and current version number of each is prominently displayed.
Ok, maybe the NSA are tapping your phone (or maybe not) but they’re certainly tracking what’s new in the world of open source security tools. And if it’s good enough for the NSA, maybe it’s good enough for you.
Coming up, my #1 pop-culture reference. And without a doubt you’ll have seen it.
#5 – Dilbert
#4 – The Mighty Avengers
#3 – The Matrix Reloaded
#2 – George Bush and the NSA
#1 – Jurassic Park
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David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. Within two years, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Newcastle, as a UNIX systems manager. This was a crucial time for UNIX at the University with the advent of the World-Wide-Web and the decline of VMS. David moved on to a brief stint in consulting, before returning to the University as IT Manager in 1998. In 2001, he joined an international software company as Asia-Pacific troubleshooter, specialising in AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and database systems. Settling down in Newcastle, David then found niche roles delivering hard-core tech to the recruitment industry and presently is the Chief Information Officer for a national resources company where he particularly specialises in mergers and acquisitions and enterprise applications.