I have no doubt that the AI we are building will improve dramatically, even to the point where it will far exceed human intelligence. But it is unlikely that the intelligent machines to ever be sentient.
How long before we find out that CAs are part of the whole spying industry also?
There is very high likelihood that they are . Verisign was founded by a group of ex CIA/FBI directors back in the 90's, who resigned to start Verisign. This happened after the Clipper chip program got canned. (The US government wanted to build a legal backdoor into every computer running the Clipper cryptographic system.)
Its the same reason that they bought Thawte from Mark Shuttleworth for about a $1 billion dollars. He controlled a significant amount of HTTPS encryopted HTTPS traffic via his start-up.
I suspect that Most HTTPS traffic can be decrypted on the fly by the US spy organisations.
Sendmail may be safely run set-user-id to root. -- Eric Allman, "Sendmail Installation Guide"