According to a report by Reuters, the US government spends tens of millions of tax payer's dollars a year on researching offensive hacking operations designed to exploit vulnerabilities in its adversaries, computers.

According to the in-depth article published by journalist Joseph Menn on Friday, May 10, 2013, the US Dept of Defence and its contractors a increasingly pursuing clandestine cyber operations designed to hack into foreign competitors' computers.

Considering how enthusiastically and vehemently the US government prosecutes alleged domestic cyber criminals - to the point of changes in technology law reforms being demanded more rampantly by the day - while at the same time spending millions on the discovery, identification and exploitation of security flaws (often gaining the government unlimited access to international targets' networks and systems), it is the understatement of the century to say that there is obviously one rule for some and another rule for others.

While Congress is demanding investigations into foreign hackers, their own government is becoming a major player in wreaking Internet havoc. The US government introduced the 'Deter Cyber Theft Act' and continually warns against the cyber crimes of other countries, while at the same time pursuing those very crimes with great enthusiasm.

According to Menn's article, the US government is now the world's biggest buyer in the ever increasing grey (or should that be black?) market place in which security firms and hackers alike are selling tools designed to circumnavigate security measures and break into computers.

Menn explains that a huge proportion of the government's cyber endeavours is not based on defensive strategies, but on developing offensive operations aiming to cause harm to adversaries' computer systems.

he goes on to state that huge sums are being invested in researching ways to put American intelligence's eyes and ears virtually anywhere they want in the world. While the government obviously has not acknowledged these operations officially, Menn claims that the most commonly known cyber operation launched by the US - the so-called Stuxnet worm used to target nuclear plants in Iran - was just one of the nation's budding attacks on foreign entities.

Acting predominantly through contractors, the US has become the dominant player using the large-scale commercial - though undoubtedly shady - market for tools to burrow into the hidden vulnerabilities of computers. Capable of doing anything from committing financial theft to sabotaging nuclear facilities or turning simple iPhones into wide area listening devices, such exploits are typically interchangeable, but critical components within bigger programmes.