Governmental surveillance is not about the government collecting the information you're sharing publicly and willingly; it's about collecting the information you don't think you're sharing at all, such as the online searches you do on search engines... or private emails or text messages... or the location of your mobile phone at any time.
It's not publicly known, but antivirus companies co-operate all the time. On the surface, antivirus vendors are direct competitors. And in fact, the competition is fierce on the sales and marketing side. But on the technical side, we're actually very friendly to each other. It seems that everyone knows everyone else.
Everything is being run by computers. Everything is reliant on these computers working. We have become very reliant on Internet, on basic things like electricity, obviously, on computers working. And this really is something which creates completely new problems for us. We must have some way of continuing to work even if computers fail.
Today, in 2011, if you go and buy a color laser printer from any major laser printer manufacturer and print a page, that page will end up having slight yellow dots printed on every single page in a pattern which makes the page unique to you and to your printer. This is happening to us today. And nobody seems to be making a fuss about it.
Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame are not normal, everyday malware, of course. All three of them were most likely developed by a Western intelligence agency as part of covert operations that weren't meant to be discovered. The fact that the malware evaded detection proves how well the attackers did their job.
The truth is, consumer-grade antivirus products can't protect against targeted malware created by well-resourced nation-states with bulging budgets. They can protect you against run-of-the-mill malware: banking trojans, keystroke loggers and e-mail worms. But targeted attacks like these go to great lengths to avoid antivirus products on purpose.
The United States has an unfair advantage, as most of the popular cloud services, search engines, computer and mobile operating systems or web browsers are made by U.S. companies. When the rest of the world uses the net, they are effectively using U.S.-based services, making them a legal target for U.S. intelligence.