Congressional Letter Suggests NSA Blocks Ads

Vice obtained a copy of a letter from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) that suggests the NSA and other intelligence agencies are blocking ads due to the security threat that they pose.

In the letter, Wyden notes that in June 2018, the NSA issued public guidance recommending that organizations block ads to avoid malware. In January 2021, CISA published a similar recommendation that government agencies block ads. Wyden writes:

Currently, federal agencies are not required to implement this NSA and CISA guidance. Even so, the Intelligence Community Chief Information Officer recently informed my office that it had done so:

“The IC has considered all recommendations from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Security Agency and has implemented enterprise-wide policy and technology controls consistent with government recommendations and industry best practices for ad-blocking. The IC has implemented network-based ad-blocking technologies and uses information from several layers, including Domain Name System information, to block unwanted and malicious advertising content.”

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