Der Spiegel had a good article the other day on the NSA's TAO Unit. The NSA Uses Powerful Toolbox in Effort to Spy on Global Networks. "The NSA's TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency's top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting."
I don't have much of a problem with this at all, this is spying in the digital era and some of the techniques described are quite clever. Targeting specific foreigners is one thing, creating a vast database of every contact ever US citizen makes is another.
Der Spiegel also describes Catalog Reveals NSA Has Back Doors for Numerous Devices. "After years of speculation that electronics can be accessed by intelligence agencies through a back door, an internal NSA catalog reveals that such methods already exist for numerous end-user devices."
Ars follows up with Your USB cable, the spy: Inside the NSA’s catalog of surveillance magic.