As a country, we like our privacy, and when we feel the government or some corporation steps out of bounds, we're quick to call foul (right, Mr. Zuckerberg?). But hey, if we're the goose, then screw the gander, he's probably up to no good anyway. The gander in this case is any other nation we feel might be a threat to national security, and in that case, we (again, as a country) are just fine with government snooping.
That's essentially what you'll glean from Sophos' mid-year 2010 Security Threat Report, which revealed that 63 percent of people feel it is perfectly acceptable for their government to engage in cyber spying on another nation.
"I think there might be an attitude of all's fair in love and war," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, when speaking to eWEEK in Europe. "There's always been one rule for your country and another rule for your citizens. But it goes one state further when you begin to ask, is it all right to launch attacks against communication systems and financial systems?
The answer to that question is a resounding "maybe." In the report, Sophos found that only 1 in 14 respondents felt okay with using denial of service (DDoS) attacks against another country's communication or financial websites during periods of peace. When at war, that number jumps to nearly half, and 44 percent said it was never the right thing to do.