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NSA and GCHQ unlock encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records

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posted on Sep, 5 2013 @ 11:25 PM

US and British intelligence agencies have successfully cracked much of the online encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their personal data, online transactions and emails, according to top-secret documents revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden.

This story has been reported in partnership between the New York Times, the Guardian and ProPublica based on documents obtained by the Guardian. For the Guardian: James Ball, Julian Borger, Glenn Greenwald The files show that the National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have broadly compromised the guarantees that internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, online banking and medical records would be indecipherable to criminals or governments

• A 10-year NSA program against encryption technologies made a breakthrough in 2010 which made "vast amounts" of data collected through internet cable taps newly "exploitable".

• The NSA spends $250m a year on a program which, among other goals, works with technology companies to "covertly influence" their product designs.

• The secrecy of their capabilities against encryption is closely guarded, with analysts warned: "Do not ask about or speculate on sources or methods."

• The NSA describes strong decryption programs as the "price of admission for the US to maintain unrestricted access to and use of cyberspace".

• A GCHQ team has been working to develop ways into encrypted traffic on the "big four" service providers, named as Hotmail, Google, Yahoo and Facebook

Much more at the link
The Guardian

I have no doubt whatsoever that this is not about 'keeping us safe'. This is a total invasion of privacy and allows the NSA to tag each of us on one side or the other. They can know everything about us from banking to medical and use ir against us at any time. It will only get worse unless we do something about it. We can't depend on someone else.

Get rid of the congressmen on the intelligence committee who allow this. The old timers are bought and paid for, this applies to all congressmen.

posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 12:19 AM
reply to post by liveandlearn

Encryption is only good for low to medium level hackers. All anyone needs to do is decrypt or hijack an encryption key... then total system/internal network security all falls apart. The more clock speed devoted to decryption, or cpu's ganged together for the job the faster decryption happens. The average hacker can crack a 12 character password using a regular ol common computer in 12 hours or less running a script. Characters like numbers and symbols take longer.

Now think of the computer power the NSA is packing... a 12 character password with symbols and numbers or even encryption keys could probably decrypt in real time at the touch of a button. Besides that, manufacturers are required to have a back door key for them, so honestly all you're doing with encryption is keeping med to low level hackers out and that's it.

posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 10:36 AM
reply to post by liveandlearn

How this is not on the front page is beyond me. This is yet another blatant assault on us all by the corrupt elite. Another double standard, more hypocrisy proving they are above the law. When hackers do this kind of thing they go to jail, but when the government do it nobody bats an eyelid.

Interestingly, they named the operations after battles in civil wars. This should send out a clear message that they are at war with us, they are not even hiding it. Why are we bending over and taking it?

BBC link:

These #s always invading our privacy, yet do it under their own veil of secrecy, and when anyone has the nerve to expose them they end up in serious trouble and have to hide out in embassies or countries with no extradition treaty with the bully boy western nations.

posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 11:06 AM
reply to post by Firefly_

Seems everyone just accepts the inevitable. We have all the complaints about the lack of privacy and potential for identity theft with our medical records but the NSA already has access to them plus banking records.

This isn't about protection, this is about power and control. And we just tuck our tails and pretend it doesn't really effect us. The NSA CIA etc. control this country and probably many parts of the world.

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