NSA Bypasses Internet Encryption, Spends $250M to Weaken International Encryption
September 6, 2013 3:05 PM
Snowden is releasing more details about the NSA's tactics
The National Security Agency (NSA) was called out by its
-- Edward Snowden -- for its various efforts to spy on American citizens and abroad. Now, Snowden has leaked new details about the NSA's ability to tap into communications and even bypass almost any encryption.
According to an article by
The New York Times
, Snowden revealed that the NSA will go to far lengths to subvert most types of encryption, including court orders, supercomputers, technical stunts and even by working with tech companies to gain back-door access to security methods.
For instance, both American and British spy agencies pushed to gain back-door access to tech giants like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft. This went on for at least three years, and by 2012, Government Communications Headquarters had created new access opportunities with Google.
An international standards group had a fatal security flaw pushed into it by the NSA.
Microsoft engineers found the flaw in 2007.
Snowden went on to say that there is even a small group of intelligence officials around the globe that have full access to decoding technologies. This is a group of analysts from the Five Eyes, which consists of the NSA and its equivalents in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
However, Snowden did say that "strong crypto systems" couldn’t be decoded by the NSA.
To top it off, Snowden said that the NSA spends about $250 million USD to diminish international encryption standards (as well as products) so that it can decode what it wants. The NSA has also said, according to Snowden, that decrypting messages from Syria and al-Qaeda leaders are critical for national security.
Edward Snowden uncovered the spying methods used by U.S. intelligence agencies earlier this year, which included
collecting data from phones
. This was used to fight terrorist attacks, but the public feared for their privacy after such revelations.
Last month, reports said that the NSA admitted to
touching 1.6 percent of total globe Web traffic
. Its technique was to filter data after harvesting it, which led to over-collection on a major scale.
Days later, an internal audit showed that the NSA broke the law
nearly 3,000 times
from 2011 to 2012. More specifically, the May 2012 audit revealed that the NSA had
abused its power
to either accidentally or intentionally
spy on Americans
and green card holders 2,997 times in that time period.
The New York Times
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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