16.4 C
Houston
Thursday, November 26, 2020

NSA Dodges Questions About Controversial “Backdoors” In Tech Products 

Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing campaign exposed the National Security Agency in 2013 for having “backdoors” into commercial technology products. The US spy agency worked with some Silicon Valley tech firms to develop covert methods of bypassing the standard authentication or encryption process of a network device so it could scan internet traffic without a warrant. 

Snowden revealed the NSA’s special sauce in how it conducted domestic and foreign backdoor operations to collect vital intelligence, resulted in the agency reforming its spying process, and had to formulate new rules to limit future breaches and how it conducts spy operations, three former intelligence officials told Reuters

However, a recent inquiry into the new guidelines by Senator Ron Wyden, a top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, yielded absolutely nothing as the spy agency dodged questions. 

“Secret encryption back doors are a threat to national security and the safety of our families – it’s only a matter of time before foreign hackers or criminals exploit them in ways that undermine American national security,” Wyden told Reuters. 

“The government shouldn’t have any role in planting secret back doors in encryption technology used by Americans,” he continued:

The agency refused to comment on its updated policies on current backdoor processes. NSA officials did say they were in the rebuilding trust phase with the private sector. 

“At NSA, it’s common practice to constantly assess processes to identify and determine best practices,” said Anne Neuberger, who heads NSA’s year-old Cybersecurity Directorate. “We don’t share specific processes and procedures.”

Three former senior intelligence agency officials told Reuters that before a backdoor operation is conducted, the agency must “weigh the potential fallout and arrange for some kind of warning if the back door gets discovered and manipulated by adversaries.”

Critics of the agency’s spy tools say backdoors create targets for adversaries and undermine US technology trust among buyers across the world. According to Juniper, in 2015, a foreign adversary used the NSA’s backdoor in its equipment. The NSA told Wyden’s aides in 2018 the Juniper incident was a “lesson learned.” 

Reuters cites one of the clearest examples of the NSA working with private tech firms to build backdoors: 

“… NSA’s approach involved an encryption-system component known as Dual Elliptic Curve, or Dual EC. The intelligence agency worked with the Commerce Department to get the technology accepted as a global standard, but cryptographers later showed that the NSA could exploit Dual EC to access encrypted data.” 

What this all suggests is that Snowden’s revelations of NSA’s spy tools really didn’t change the agency’s practices over the last seven years. Backdoors are still being used as the surveillance state marches on

Zerohedge

Latest news

Colorado statue toppled in protest replaced by Native American woman

A Civil War memorial toppled by Black Lives Matter protesters in Colorado over the summer will be replaced by a sculpture of a Native...

Highlights of Pennsylvania Republicans’ Hearing on Election Irregularities

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared at a public hearing of Pennsylvania Republicans Wednesday to review his claims of voter fraud and...

Biden’s Gun Control Plan Would Cost Gun Owners $34 Billion In Taxes

Submitted by Joseph Jankowski of Planet Free WillUnder Joe Biden’s proposed gun control plan, American gun owners would cough up tens of billions dollars...

Judge rules California can’t deny man wanting ‘QUEER’ on his license plate

A judge ruled on Tuesday against the state of California trying to prevent a man from putting the word "QUEER" on his license plate,...

Related news

Biden’s Gun Control Plan Would Cost Gun Owners $34 Billion In Taxes

Submitted by Joseph Jankowski of Planet Free WillUnder Joe Biden’s proposed gun control plan, American gun owners would cough up tens of billions dollars...

Judge rules California can’t deny man wanting ‘QUEER’ on his license plate

A judge ruled on Tuesday against the state of California trying to prevent a man from putting the word "QUEER" on his license plate,...

Flynn’s Family Thanks Trump for ‘Undoing a Hideous Wrong’

The family of former national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, issued a statement Wednesday evening thanking President Donald Trump for pardoning him and...

Watch: F-35 Stealth Fighter Drops Mock Nuclear Bomb Over Nevada Desert

We recently highlighted the possibility that the US and China "may well be on the road to war, and nuclear war is no longer unthinkable." For...

Gov. Mike Parson to Missourians: ‘Government has no business’ regulating gatherings in homes

Like other leaders across the U.S., Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) reminded his constituents ahead of the Thanksgiving Day to be cautious about COVID-19....

Scientists: The Human Brain And The Entire Universe Have Odd Similarities

Authored by Justin MacLachlan via TheMindUnleashed.com,An astrophysicist at the University of Bologna and a neurosurgeon at the University of Verona have claimed that the...

Trump team has a ‘mountain’ of evidence, and you ain’t seen nothing yet

The Trump legal team has a "mountain" of evidence showing voting fraud that the...

Federal Court Strikes Down California DMV’s Censorship of Vanity Plates

A federal judge ruled that the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ ban on personalized license plates it deems contrary “to good taste and decency”...