Let me put it this way: between government agencies like the CIA, the NSA, the FBI and more, there are systems like Echelon, which monitors most of the electronic communication in the world, Carnivore, a system that intercepts email, and Tempest, which can read a computer's display from more than a block away. There are also many keyhole satellites that can see something as small as 5 inches on the ground. Not only that, but there are probably numerous other spying systems that we, the general public, have no idea about. Needless to say, if the government wants to spy on you, they certainly can. The best defence, really, is to not give them a reason to do so. Ironically, I probably did just that with my mentioning of those spy systems before. Whatever; they'll soon realize that I'm nothing important, even if this does catch their attention.
In any case, the idea is not to do illegal stuff, as a few people have said. When you want to hack something, you have to do it on your own machines, or with permission/in a pentest lab. This can get expensive, especially if you're trying to pentest a $10,000 web server. Even though it can get pretty expensive, you just have to figure out a legal way to do it.
EDIT NOTE: I just figured out that Carnivore was abandoned in 2005. Never mind about that one.
Last edited by orwell84
on Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mens et manus.