Skip to comments.Feds put heat on Web firms for master encryption keys
Posted on 07/25/2013 9:55:36 PM PDT by Errant
The U.S. government has attempted to obtain the master encryption keys that Internet companies use to shield millions of users' private Web communications from eavesdropping.
These demands for master encryption keys, which have not been disclosed previously, represent a technological escalation in the clandestine methods that the FBI and the National Security Agency employ when conducting electronic surveillance against Internet users.
If the government obtains a company's master encryption key, agents could decrypt the contents of communications intercepted through a wiretap or by invoking the potent surveillance authorities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Web encryption -- which often appears in a browser with a HTTPS lock icon when enabled -- uses a technique called SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer.
"The government is definitely demanding SSL keys from providers," said one person who has responded to government attempts to obtain encryption keys. The source spoke with CNET on condition of anonymity.
The person said that large Internet companies have resisted the requests on the grounds that they go beyond what the law permits, but voiced concern that smaller companies without well-staffed legal departments might be less willing to put up a fight. "I believe the government is beating up on the little guys," the person said. "The government's view is that anything we can think of, we can compel you to do."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.cnet.com ...
It just doesn't stop...
Why would anyone read that?
I gotta get on Facebook stat!
We are going into full electronic lockdown mode in prison America. Every electronic communication has all the security and privacy of those indestructable stainless steel phones they put in drunk tanks so you can arrange bail.
This is now getting scary. Way out of control.
I wouldn’t know about those drunk tank phones. Care to share a few details LOL
And that is just the way it is.
If you are on the radar you can assume they are watching.
It has always been that way.
But, it is ridiculous to assume that the ABC agencies can monitor all of us all of the time but they cannot monitor Snowden.
That the ABC agencies are listening to you talk to Aunt Mabel, but that they cannot suss the Boston bastards even when the Russians gave them a heads up years earlier.
Something stinks here, and it stinks real bad.
Yep, this is all of your online banking, purchases, and etc.
PFS is your friend.
I treat the internet like it is a fail safe vault like Fort Knox.
I download a new flash-player every-time I get a popup warning me I need to click its button to keep my computer from crashing.
Especially when they require my SS #, phone full name and address. I cant lose.
Even PFS isn't complete proof against surveillance. It's possible to mount a more advanced attack, sometimes called a man-in-the-middle or active attack, and decode the contents of the communications.
A Wired article in 2010 disclosed that a company called Packet Forensics was marketing to government agencies a box that would do precisely that. (There is no evidence that the NSA performs active attacks as part of routine surveillance, and even those could be detected in some circumstances.)
The Packet Forensics brochure said that government agencies would "have the ability to import a copy of any legitimate key they obtain (potentially by court order)." It predicted that agents or analysts will collect their "best evidence while users are lulled into a false sense of security afforded by Web, e-mail or VOIP encryption."
It’s apparent that more work needs to be done to create better privacy solutions on the net.
At least PFS would make their work much harder and limit the number of targets they could handle...it just needs to be ubiquitous.
I wonder WHY it’s free? Is this one the NSA funded? ;)
I agree. Besides, sounds like they’re getting desperate to learn what we’re up to. ;)
Problem is, if you unplug that will probably find them knocking at your door.
Here is something to consider...does your computer have a camera? Is big brother watching you right now.
I purposely bought a laptop in 2009 without the camera
Although it has kept me from making videos with action figures as the stars and posting them to Youtube, so who knows what kind of art I have denied the world.
There is an upgraded one, but the features of the File Shredder are the same. Not NSA funded - been around for years and they upgrade regularly. I used to recover deleted data regularly. When I tried to recover after a Wipe Clean< couldn’t get any shred of a file or folder, and that was years ago. Much improved I would imagine from that time to keep up with tech. Anyway, I feel more comfortable using it although I have nothing to hide. Just a personal thing to me kinda like a burglar going through your personal stuff. Just one small thing in my life I don’t have to think about. Makes me happy Errant and that is Numero Uno on my daily to do list. :-)
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