NSA successfully cracked encryption

NSA successfully cracked encryption

Posted in the Chicago Forum


Matawan, NJ

#1 Sep 6, 2013
NSA successfully cracked encryption
September 5, 2013 | 5:00PM ET

Newly revealed documents reportedly show the agency has collected 'vast amounts' of user data believed to be secretive

The National Security Agency spends $250 million per year to break through encryption barriers.Paul

Leaks by former security contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency has cracked into Internet communications previously believed to be protected by the use of encryption, news reports said Thursday.

The New York Times, Pro Publica and The Guardian, working in partnership on the story, reported that documents obtained from Snowden show that the NSA and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) successfully broke through encryption barriers in 2010.

"Vast amounts of encrypted Internet data which have up till now been discarded are now exploitable," the reports said, citing one of the GCHQ documents.

The documents reportedly show that the NSA's anti-encryption methods are closely guarded, and analysts are told, "Do not ask about or speculate on sources or methods," The Guardian reported.

The leaked documents also reveal that -- aside from using supercomputers and court orders -- the NSA would spend as much as $250 million per year to "covertly influence" tech companies to create loopholes in their products so the U.S. agency can easily access user information.

The latest revelations follow months of ongoing leaks from Snowden, who is now in Russia on a temporary asylum visa, exposing the NSA's efforts to collect data on civilians in the U.S. and abroad by tapping phone calls and Internet activity.

Al Jazeera has reached out to the NSA for comment and has not heard back from the agency yet.


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