Public Comment

The NSA & Encryption

Jagjit Singh
Friday March 04, 2016 - 05:38:00 PM

The NSA has an insatiable appetite to invade our privacy. Der Spiegel reported details of a secretive unit inside the NSA, called the Office of Tailored Access Operations, or TAO. TAO has developed new ways to penetrate our privacy, courtesy of Microsoft, by gaining access to WINDOWS users who report technical problems. In addition, new computer orders are intercepted in transit and special malware is implanted to monitor all activity of unsuspecting users. 

William Binny, creator of some of the NSA surveillance code, expressed concern that the agency is drowning in mountains of useless data which has rendered it to be totally dysfunctional. He also warned that the potential for abuse and misuse of the information is extremely troubling. 

It is instructive that the NSA couldn’t cite a single instance in which its mammoth sized haystack of data circumvented an imminent attack – including the Bernardino shooters. In the last fifteen years the NSA had access to potential terrorist attacks but failed to act on the significance of the data. 

It is ironic that the NSA paid millions in fees to Apple and other high tech companies to weaken their encryption standards by supplying a back door access. The same companies are now feigning outrage over government demands to allow them access to their devices thereby weakening their encryption standards for all their customers. 

As Dan Kaminsky, a security expert commented, “when your products have been intentionally flawed in the support of intelligence missions, don’t expect people to buy them”.