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Print 34 comment(s) - last by NellyFromMA.. on Jul 31 at 11:51 AM


  (Source: blogspot.com)
The question of whether it's legal for them to ask for these SSL keys or not is unclear

The feds are trying to creep further into the personal lives of Web users by requesting master encryption keys from Internet companies. 

According to a new report from CNET, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have both tried to obtain master encryption keys as part of their digital surveillance efforts, but there's a huge question as to whether they have the legal authority to do so. 

 Master encryption keys are crucial to Web encryption. They put contents of Web communications into code that is tough to crack using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). If government agencies were to get their hands on these SSL keys, they could decode the content and peek into the lives of Internet users.

The NSA is also looking to get these SSL keys because it would allow for surveillance through its fiber taps, which are now heavily guarded by SSL.

SSL was originally put in place because of insecure and open Wi-Fi networks. Google adopted HTTPS (which appears in the browser to show that SSL is enabled -- back in 2010 for Gmail, and Microsoft did the same for Hotmail. Later in 2012, Facebook followed suit for its popular social network.

Now, these large Internet companies face the fear of government agencies trying to obtain the SSL keys and expose information on their users. Microsoft, Google and Facebook all said that they haven't given any SSL keys to the government, and agreed that they would fight against doing so. 

Other larger companies like Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Yahoo, Comcast and AOL haven't said if they've been asked for or have given SSL keys to the feds. 

But the larger companies fear that smaller Web establishments without deep pockets or a hefty legal department will give in to the government's requests for keys. 

SSL has certainly hindered the government's spying abilities, which is why they're coming directly to the source for the keys. But if all else fails, the feds have other avenues of getting what they need. For instance, companies like Packet Forensics help government agencies import "legitimate" copies of SSL keys -- which could possibly be obtained through a court order -- for spying on users. 

Speaking of a court order, it's not clear whether federal surveillance laws allow the government to ask for SSL keys -- even with subpoenas. Subpoenas call for gathering evidence related to an investigation, where SSL keys would seem to open up a treasure trove of data that may contain pieces of information relevant to an investigation, but likely most that are not.

Source: CNET



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RE: Too little too late
By fleshconsumed on 7/26/2013 12:00:41 PM , Rating: 5
I'm not going to defend Obama on this one, but all of these programs have been started under Bush administration. If you're implying the republican party is any better, it's not. More republicans voted to keep the program funded than the democrats. Your only choice is to vote third party of keep voting "none of the above". That might be the only thing that will send a message through.


RE: Too little too late
By Ammohunt on 7/26/2013 3:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
Voting for the Green party? or maybe the Constitutional(Christian party) yeah no thanks we have enough problems without having people throw their votes away by voting for crackpots like ron paul.


RE: Too little too late
By PontiusP on 7/26/2013 6:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
Care to elaborate on how he's a crackpot? Let's see:

-Correctly called out the war on drugs for the catastrophic, expensive and violent failure that it is.

-Correctly called out our imperialist aggression abroad for the catastrophic, expensive and violent failure that it is.

-Correctly called the 2008 meltdown years before it happened because he knew a bubble was being blown by the government and the Federal Reserve.

-Correctly called out our cradle to grave social welfare state for the immoral theft that it is.

-Correctly called out our corporate welfare state for the immoral theft and misallocation of resources that it is.

The list goes on. He has been consistently right before, during, and after he was in office. Compare that with the rest of the garbage in Washington and it becomes clear that the opposite of what you said is true: Ron Paul was the only sane one, the rest have literally lost their minds as they carry us off a cliff.


RE: Too little too late
By Ammohunt on 7/29/2013 1:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
Like so many others....

Legalizing all drugs and isolationist stance in the world are non starters for conservatives like me. Both ideas if implemented would make our current issues seem like a rainy day as compared to a hurricane...libertarians are delusional anarchists nothing more.


RE: Too little too late
By Piiman on 7/27/2013 11:24:22 AM , Rating: 2
"without having people throw their votes away by voting for crackpots"

Then stop voting because they're all crackpots.


RE: Too little too late
By Flunk on 7/29/2013 9:35:26 AM , Rating: 2
Since when was voting for the Democrats or Republicans not voting for the "Christian Party". When was the last time there was a non-Christian president?


RE: Too little too late
By Flunk on 7/29/2013 9:36:21 AM , Rating: 2
You could argue that voting for a mainline party is throwing your vote away because they're going to win regardless if you vote for them or not.


RE: Too little too late
By Reclaimer77 on 7/28/2013 5:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
That's a complete tucking lie! Ive had it with people blaming Bush for everything Obama has done. ENOUGH!!

There is nothing in the Patriot Act that grants the Government the authority to spy en mass on all Americans. There is nothing granting the NSA authority to collect "meta data" on everyones phone and Internet activity. And exactly when the Fuck did Bush go after All Internet encryption keys!

This is ALL Obama. Stop being a pussy and hiding behind Bush on every goddamn issue!


RE: Too little too late
By fleshconsumed on 7/30/2013 12:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
Which part of it specifically is a lie?

The Prism signed up Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google during Bush administration. That's a fact.

Mark Klein blew the whistle on AT&T diverting all of its call traffic to NSA as early as 2003. That's a fact.

In the final days of its administration Bush granted retroactive immunity to any ISPs (including AT&T) that might have passed information to the government without proper warrant. That's a fact.

And on the most recent vote on funding the NSA surveillance program only 94 republicans out of 234 voted to defund the program. Also a fact.

http://www.dailytech.com/US+House+Backs+Obamas+Dro...

As I said before, I'm not defending Obama's record on this matter. While he may not have started any of these programs, he did nothing to stop them either. Instead he greatly expanded them.

However, if your argument is to vote republican, then it's nothing but a folly for you cannot be seriously suggesting voting Republicans as more than half of them voted to keep the NSA system in place. Republicans want to keep the program in place even more so than Democrats.

In the big picture both parties are complicit on this issue, democrats and your beloved republicans alike.

Here, go educate yourself:
https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/how-it-works
https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/timeline

The only way you can show your disapproval is to keep voting third party of "none of the above". Yes, in the former case you would be throwing your vote away, and in the latter case it would be just a symbolic gesture that would accomplish nothing. However, voting for either of the two main parties will ensure that the program will keep running.


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