Sep 09 2013
Online privacy activists are up in arms at revelations late last week in the Guardian Newspaper, New York Times, and Propublica, that reveal the NSA has managed to crack online encryption methods as part of its mass surveillance program. Encryption was long thought to be the last bastion of protection against government spying on the internet. However, internal documents from the NSA leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden expose that government agencies have been working with internet service providers and technology companies to plant “back-door” vulnerabilities in their encryption software.
The NSA had publicly sought the ability to do just that but been legislatively defeated in its bid. It now appears it simply accomplished its goal of undermining encryption protocols in secret.
The documents also reveal that the NSA has spent billions of dollars building superfast computers to break encryption codes using brute force methods.
Encryption is not just used to secure communications between individuals – it is a standard protocol in all online communications that require privacy, such as credit card transactions and other business dealings.
GUEST: Sascha Meinrath, vice president of the New America Foundation and director of the Open Technology Institute
Sascha Meinrath recommends an alternative search engine to Google: https://duckduckgo.com/.
Also, alternatives to email servers like Yahoo and Gmail, include Riseup.
Find out more about the “Stop Watching Us” initiative at http://www.stopwatching.us.