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Message Subject Snowden's Snow Job: the NSA's slow-leak plan to create an Orwellian Surveillance Planet
Poster Handle Prometheus.Locke
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In the wake of the PRISM leak, many have begun talking about additional measures that can be taken to increase privacy despite the near total surveillance that has recently been brought to light at the hands of America's National Security Agency and their counterparts in intelligence organizations throughout the world, operating under an arraignment that dates back to 1947, the UKUSA Agreement. This organization has been "fingered" as the operator of the ECHELON network, and it should be clear that programs like PRISM and Carnivore are nothing more than a portion the underlying machinery which allows for the uninhibited surveillance of nearly every form of human communication. For decades, the computer security industry has created encryption, anonymity increasing protocols, and security infrastructure to protect our data from would-be thieves, malicious hackers, and... also the NSA. Right?

In 1976 the NSA made a number of contributions to a new encryption standard, DES. At the time, there was widespread speculation that a backdoor was put in to the standard, but 35 years later the NSA has given us new information. What we now know is that the NSA strengthened DES, making the algorithm stronger and, at the same time, reduced the key size from 64 bit to 56. This tells us some very important things about the NSA in 1976, and it should scare the hell out of you in 2013. First, the NSA had enough compute power to brute force DES (most likely at keys larger than 64 bit) in 1976, and was very comfortable with a 56 bit key size.) Second, given the increase in computing power between then and now, its is almost absurd to think that any encryption standard is really worth its salt when dealing with this eneorganization in 2013. Taken a step further, its more than likely that nearly anyone with enough money is able to defeat SSL etc.. The sad truth, the really well organized thieves and hackers are most likely just as able to defeat the anonymity and encryption standards of today as the NSA (albeit perhaps, with less ease.)

Using services like hushmail, TOR, and PGP will do nothing to increase your privacy when you are dealing with the National Security Agency.. and in fact will most likely make you a target, whether or not you actually do anything wrong.

Further reading:

[link to gcn.com]
[link to cryptome.sabotage.org]

More on Snowden:
[link to www.unduecoercion.com]
[link to www.unduecoercion.com]
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