This undated photo released by the United States government shows the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md.
In the New York Times, a report based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden says the National Security Agency is "winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications."
The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show.
Many users assume — or have been assured by Internet companies — that their data is safe from prying eyes, including those of the government, and the N.S.A. wants to keep it that way. The agency treats its recent successes in deciphering protected information as among its most closely guarded secrets, restricted to those cleared for a highly classified program code-named Bullrun, according to the documents, provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.
Read the rest: N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption - NYTimes.com.
The Guardian has a related report
out today. The leaked docs show that NSA and GCHQ (UK intel agency) have spent hundreds of millions to defeat Internet encryption.
Pro Publica's take on the information is here.
Last week, 30 students used a House Judiciary Committee hearing room to hold a debate on mass surveillance in America.
A study by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration found that half of American Internet users are “deterred” from engaging in online transactions because of fears over privacy and security breaches.
It’s time once again to nominate your digital heroes for the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s annual Pioneer Awards; previous winners include Edward Snowden, Carl Malamud, Limor Fried, Laura Poitras, Heddy Lamarr, Aaron Swartz, Gigi Sohn, Bruce Schneier, Zoe Lofgren, Glenn Greenwald, Jon Postel and many others (I am immensely proud to have won one myself!).
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