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NSA Undermines High Level of Internet Encryption

SURVEILLANCE

September 6, 2013

The latest leak from former government contractor Edward Snowden reveals the U.S. National Security 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,” according to a multi-pronged report by The New York Times, ProPublica and The Guardian. Since 2000, the agency has invested billions of dollars to influence international encryption standards and force technology companies to provide backdoor access to encrypted communications. The ACLU’s Christopher Soghoian said the programs are “making the Internet less secure and exposing us to criminal hacking, foreign espionage and unlawful surveillance,” adding that it “will further erode not only the United States’ reputation as a global champion of civil liberties and privacy but the economic competitiveness of its largest companies.” Editor’s Note: Former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker will keynote later this month at the IAPP Privacy Academy in Seattle, WA. Additionally, the IAPP web conference The Snowden Fallout will broadcast Thursday, September 12.
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