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BBC: 2014: The Year of Encryption

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posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 08:18 AM
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BBC


So said Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, in response to revelations about the activities of the US National Security Agency (NSA) made by whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Microsoft, for instance, says it will have "best-in-class industry cryptography" in place for services including Outlook.com, Office 365 and SkyDrive by the end of the year, while Yahoo has announced plans to encrypt all of its customers' data, including emails, by the end of the first quarter of 2014


So event giant internet corporations like Yahoo! and Google and Microsoft are trying to fight the government right now by encrypting their services - but how come the government isn't doing their own job to protect the Civil Liberties of U.S. Citizens and even citizens of our allies like Germany and France?

Has the U.S. Government become an enemy of its own people, the people world-wide and corporations? How can this enemy be stopped? IS there not some chance that the major corporations will be infiltrated by government agents who will build back-doors into the encryption codes?

What gives someone the right to rule who has broken the trust of the people of its own nation who grant it the right by vote, the corporations who pay the taxes and the citizens of the nation world-wide? A ruler must be held accountable to its subjects, especially in a Democracy, or else it is illegitimate.


'Back doors'
Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

You have to decide who you trust, and find out where the vendor gets all the parts of its product from”

Ramon Krikken
Gartner analyst
One question that companies will need to consider is which encryption algorithm or cipher to use to best encrypt their data. It's an important question as some older ciphers can now be "cracked" relatively quickly using the computing power in a standard desktop PC.

And there is a question mark over whether the NSA may have deliberately used its influence to weaken some encryption systems - or even to introduce "back doors" that provide easy access to encrypted data to anyone who knows of their existence.

"The problem is that even if you can inspect the source code, it is certainly not a given that you would be able to spot a back door," Mr Krikken says.


Meanwhile, while this corruption is running rampant in the U.S., nothing is being done about it -

NPR: Profit, Not Just Principle has Tech Firms Concerned with NSA


Along with the privacy advocates and the national security establishment, there is another set of players with strong views on NSA surveillance programs: U.S. tech companies.

Google and five other companies weighed in on the surveillance debate last month, sending a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supporting legislation to reform National Security Agency surveillance programs.

Their intervention was in part prompted by the news that the NSA had apparently managed to penetrate some of their data centers in Europe. The companies had previously given the NSA access to some of their users' data in the United States under court order, but the interception in Europe was done without their knowledge.


Well, even if the technology companies are being motivated by profit, they are being at least somewhat motivated by what is in the best interest of the people they represent.

And what is the data the NSA collects being used to stop? Terrorists? Highly unlikely, even if that is the official claim.

Reuters - U.S. Directs Agents to Cover up Programs Used to Investigate Americans


(Reuters) - A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.


This corruption is running rampant and violating the constitutional rights of Americans and the rights of others world-wide, as well. And it affects everyone.

Wikipedia: Fourth Amendment


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.[1]


Link


Former NSA head Michael Hayden hasn't been shy about offering his opinion on the Snowden leaks. Not being in a position where his opinion might damage the government's reputation has certainly encouraged him to speak his mind. This has led to some truly bizarre assertions from the former spy-in-chief, including his belief that Snowden is headed down the path to alcoholism, his supporters are mainly internet shut-ins and that state secrecy is just like personal privacy and worthy of the same protections.


This is the former head of the NSA - with incorrect details of Snowden being an alcoholic (which Snowden directly corrected in an interview), and assertions that the people who support Snowden are internet shut-ins - when this is simply not the case, either - as you can see by tech giants trying to combat government surveillance, as well as Germany being concerned.

CNN: Merkel: Relations with U.S. Severely Strained Over Spying Concerns

Edward Snowden December Interview : The Guardian
edit on 10amFri, 10 Jan 2014 08:37:08 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 08:26 AM
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reply to post by darkbake
 


In the next two links, you can see how the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is concerned about privacy concerns for those in Europe, and has even had her phone tapped by the NSA.


(CNN) -- "Trust needs to be rebuilt."

That's what German Chancellor Angela Merkel firmly asserted early Friday -- as she had the previous day -- in the wake of reports the U.S. National Security Agency had eavesdropped on her cell phone.

This claim and others that she and other world leaders have been spied on had "severely shaken" relationships between Europe and the United States, the German leader said.

"Obviously, words will not be sufficient," Merkel said in the wee hours Friday at a summit of European Union leaders. "True change is necessary."

Talk of the NSA's reported spying on Germany and other allies dominated Merkel's news conference in Brussels, Belgium. It illustrated the anger over this story in Europe and the challenges facing Washington because of it.

The Chancellor insisted she isn't the only one concerned; other European leaders, she said, voiced similar sentiments during the first day of the summit Thursday.


Of course, this is all a gigantic mess. The main problem that I see are is that illegal surveillance is being done by the U.S. Government against its own people, not just terrorists, and citizens world-wide - the U.S. Government has and probably continues to infiltrate tech companies in order to build back-doors into their security algorithms -

And here is the kicker, look at what Michael Hayden is saying, they are out of touch with reality, and look at the article about how they are going after criminals for petty crimes. The amount of power out there in corrupt hands is ridiculous and it affects everyone's safety and security in a negative manner.

You want to say that the NSA is only going after criminals? Well what about Merkel, the Prime Minister of Germany? Well then - maybe the NSA has the right to wire-tap everyone in order to know what is going on. And continue down that path, it is not a good one whatsoever.

Who is going to benefit? Not you, or anyone you know, I can almost guarantee that. Some people with religious persuasions support hardcore government surveillance. So do people with liberal persuasions, because they support Obama.

These people need to stand up and NOT support it the most - religious people and liberals have been prime targets of corrupt governments across history.When you have leaks showing that the NSA is not just using its illegal information against terrorists, but common criminals -

I am not an idiot - the natural progression of events from there is for the U.S. Government to start going against its own people who criticize it and start using the surveillance against those with legitimate criticisms - there you have people being arrested and detained for political beliefs -

And this has already happened - the Obama Administration seized A.P. Records against the constitutional rights of the press during the summer.

NY Times: Phone Records of Journalists Seized by U.S.


WASHINGTON — Federal investigators secretly seized two months of phone records for reporters and editors of The Associated Press in what the news organization said Monday was a “serious interference with A.P.’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.”

The A.P. said that the Justice Department informed it on Friday that law enforcement officials had obtained the records for more than 20 telephone lines of its offices and journalists, including their home phones and cellphones. It said the records were seized without notice sometime this year.


Whatever is going on, it is likely that this year will mark an attempt by the U.S. Government and the Intelligence Community to cover its tracks, that this will happen is glaringly obvious and without question - what is in question is how.

No matter how much we may want to disassociate from the reality of the situation we are in, it at least seems pretty bad to me - and I provided sources. I think this has the potential to either blow up further this year and spiral out of control or be put on the back burner, a very hot back burner, imo.

Even looking at this from an Intelligence Community standpoint, the whole thing is a mess.
edit on 10amFri, 10 Jan 2014 08:36:27 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 10amFri, 10 Jan 2014 08:38:05 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 10amFri, 10 Jan 2014 08:38:47 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by darkbake
 


Edward Snowden. A celebrity "wistle blower" who randomly leaked "documents" to the Guardian even though the latter is not qualified to verify veracity.

I wonder. If Russia wanted America destroyed, what would she do?

She would hire Snowden, an ex-NSA agent, to create a fifth column inside the US and to destroy the america as we know it. "The US is the bad guy, and we must revolt". Funnily enough... it so happens that this mindset is the very heart of Communism.

Welcome to the War of information.


edit on 10-1-2014 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 08:40 AM
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reply to post by darkbake
 

The more that people show their anger towards the NSA, the more we'll hear stuff like this from corporations and politicians. However, it's just a show. There is no politician, aside from the occasional Libertarian (who will have zero support from his colleagues), that will actually do anything about it. The corps know that all they have to do is say they'll do something and that's good enough for the sheeple. On a whole, nobody will dig any deeper to find out if they really did anything or not and the media will shut down any bad press because they are an incestuous gang to begin with.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by swanne
 


You bring up a good point here - and I thought about it as well. The evidence so far doesn't show that to be the case, however, there is serious danger of this leading in to a Fascist mind-set.
edit on 10amFri, 10 Jan 2014 08:47:19 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 08:45 AM
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wirefly
reply to post by darkbake
 

The more that people show their anger towards the NSA, the more we'll hear stuff like this from corporations and politicians. However, it's just a show. There is no politician, aside from the occasional Libertarian (who will have zero support from his colleagues), that will actually do anything about it. The corps know that all they have to do is say they'll do something and that's good enough for the sheeple.


I don't think this is necessarily the case. First of all, the corporations have to be held accountable to smart customers. Secondly, U.S. Politicians are not the only politicians out there. Although I do agree with your main point -

So far the politicians have been taking the ignore it / spam propaganda in the opposite direction route.


edit on 10amFri, 10 Jan 2014 08:46:36 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 08:48 AM
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reply to post by darkbake
 


If there is a hidden group who would like to control the World (and it would be improbable that such a group doesn't exists), then one of its very first move will be to "ally" with the people, and treat the government (representative of the old world order) as an enemy (and by government, I of course mean authorities in general, may it be american or canadian or other countries).

History shows us though that once the revolution is done, one only traded an evil for a greater evil. The system continues, it only changes its form. Violence doesn't solve violence, it only extends it.




edit on 10-1-2014 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 08:57 AM
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It's a wonderful notion that these companies under public pressure would sever ties with the governments of the world and actively protect their systems and software from government eyes but it's all just fairy tales.

MS and Google can talk themselves blue in the face ranting about security and privacy and NSA evils and they'll still comply with government demands and install backdoors.

Just as Obama and the other pols can tell us NSA spying will be reigned in and they'll just keep doing it the way they've always done it.

Lip service and promises are completely worthless.

The genie is out and no government or corporation is going to put it back in the bottle. They'll tell you will and even tell you they did but you and I both know they did not and never will.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


These corps, such as Google, are still members of the CFR. For God's sake, they sit right next to Rockefeller and Bush! I don't think all members of the CFR are evil, I just notice that there is an interesting meeting going on behind the curtain.


edit on 10-1-2014 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 01:26 PM
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swanne
reply to post by darkbake
 


If there is a hidden group who would like to control the World (and it would be improbable that such a group doesn't exists), then one of its very first move will be to "ally" with the people, and treat the government (representative of the old world order) as an enemy (and by government, I of course mean authorities in general, may it be american or canadian or other countries).

History shows us though that once the revolution is done, one only traded an evil for a greater evil. The system continues, it only changes its form. Violence doesn't solve violence, it only extends it.



I agree with you that is definitely a concern. It has crossed my mind that Snowden was an assault, possibly even temporary, on the N.S.A. in order to remove its spying capabilities long enough for another faction to get in there and get things done, kind of giving them some smoke and mirrors.

The N.S.A. had been investigating Obama and McCain in the past, if not ongoing, so I'm not sure what the relationship between the elected President and the intelligence agencies is at the moment. However, I believe the A.P. Press Records were seized by The Obama Administration right before Snowden leaked his information, showing that the Administration may not have been in support of the leak.

Michael Hastings also suspiciously died in a car accident soon after, and he was investigating corruption in the Intelligence Community as well.
edit on 10pmFri, 10 Jan 2014 13:29:28 -0600kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 01:31 PM
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swanne
reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


These corps, such as Google, are still members of the CFR. For God's sake, they sit right next to Rockefeller and Bush! I don't think all members of the CFR are evil, I just notice that there is an interesting meeting going on behind the curtain.


edit on 10-1-2014 by swanne because: (no reason given)


Well - the tech companies are interested in their money and the breach of security by the government and also hackers is motivating them to try and get better encryption. I'm sure that at least some of the programmers and workers at Google are not very thrilled about the N.S.A. - I've seen letters by Google to the government on more than one occasion.

Microsoft, I am a bit more surprised on - their Xbox One was going to ship with some nifty spy gear such as an always-on Kinect that tracks eye movements and has a microphone.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 01:33 PM
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thisguyrighthere
The genie is out and no government or corporation is going to put it back in the bottle. They'll tell you will and even tell you they did but you and I both know they did not and never will.


In some ways it is more dangerous that the N.S.A. spying was revealed because courts can rule it "legal" using strange loop-holes.



posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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It doesn't matter what encryption MS use for outlooks website as the emails will be at some point be decrypted and thats the point that the NSA/GCHQ want as while for external hackers it'll take billions of years to crack something for the spooks it's pop in read an email in plain text and job done since the problem is that there is lawful interception and thus NSA/GCHQ (depending on the country) just submit a form with a tame judges signature and they have to turn it over so they're going to automate as much as possible to reduce possible knowledge of the interception and the cost



posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 02:58 AM
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There are so many angles to attack what the NSA is doing, I'm going to bring one up that people are mostly ignoring though it was touched on in the OP.

One of the most successful industries in the US right now is our tech sector. What the NSA is doing is tantamount to destroying it. They are spending billions per year to install backdoors into every piece of hardware and software, then finding software vulnerabilities and hoarding them to use their own exploits. The end result is that American gadgets are less secure than foreign ones, and if people want to keep their data safe, they're forced away from the American product.

Remember, if the vulnerability is there, ANYONE can use it. A hacker, an identity thief, or a foreign government. By forcing these vulnerabilities into our products the NSA is telling the world that there are ways into American products, and that these exploits will not be fixed.

Already due to privacy concerns some countries have passed laws saying they can't use US products, and the internet itself is being restructured to circumvent US fiber.

This is going to send our tech companies and professionals overseas. It's going to turn what are currently some of the best employment opportunities in the US into dead end jobs, and it's yet another form of skilled labor that will be going away forever, just like our manufacturing base.

This is just one of the outcomes from the NSA's programs.

Also, those encrypted services mentioned in the OP mean nothing. There's about a 99.999999% chance the NSA has backdoors into them. The companies themselves may not like doing it, but they are cooperating.
edit on 11-1-2014 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2014 @ 05:23 PM
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reply to post by Aazadan
 


Aazadan brings up a good point. Some South American countries are actually rerouting their internet traffic so that it doesn't go through the U.S. at all - that means that the only way for the N.S.A. to intercept it would be to set up hidden data collection centers outside of the U.S. - although they already have at least one in Europe.

Report: NSA Broke into Yahoo, Google Data Centers (Yahoo! News)

There is some cooperation from some of Europe.

U.S. Says France, Spain Aided in U.S. Spying (WSJ)

Brazil plans to circumvent the U.S. internet nodes.

Cutting the Cord: Brazil's Bold Plan to Combat the NSA

Which may have partially been in response to this.

Brazil Angry Over Report NSA Spied on President (NYT)

Although spying goes on all the time - what I think is a more unique issue are the leaks going from the NSA into the DEA and such that circumvent due process. And what you mentioned about the NSA infiltrating U.S. tech companies and making their products more vulnerable without them even knowing it - because it happens behind management's back.
edit on 12pmSun, 12 Jan 2014 17:24:19 -0600kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2014 @ 07:25 PM
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reply to post by darkbake
 


It's happening in more than just South America. Pretty much every non five eyes nation is making preparations, and even New Zealand which is part of five eyes has laws they were ignoring (they were operating in a very grey area) that they now have to deal with.

I was watching quite a bit of the 30C3 coverage and one of the presentations brought up something interesting. One of the ways the NSA is circumventing these laws is they wait for the data on an American to leave US soil and then once it's in a country where our constitutional protections no longer apply they grab it. Basically the same logic that allows places like Gitmo to exist is being applied to our everyday data.

When it comes to corporate collusion, low and mid level managers certainly don't know, but the high level ones I can guarantee you do. The problem is, what can they do? All indications are they first come up casually and appeal to patriotism. There's a thread here about it with an encryption company and the TOR guys released their own anecdote... both are similar.

A government representative comes up and casually suggests a back door in order to help protect innocent people from being murdered. If they refuse they appeal to patriotism saying the US provides a market to sell their good, constitutional protections, rule of law, etc... and that it can only be upheld if these backdoors are in place. If the person still refuses they come back with a FISA court order that must be obeyed.

If you notice in the privacy statements of virtually every company they have a little disclaimer that says your data is private and secure except when requested through a legal process. Well guess what? They apply that legal process to pretty much every tech company.

It's nothing short of war on an entire industry.

It's not a process that can happen overnight due to scale, but it is happening. The world is moving away from American tech products. Before long we're going to go from having been the leader in these industries to junk status. It may already be considered junk.



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