This week we focus on internet privacy & and the massive spying networks of security agencies like NSA, GCHQ (UK), and AIVD (Netherlands). We’re organising a Basta! info-night “Big Brother is Back” this Thursday on this topic. To Keep you up to date here are some of the latest revelations brought to you by Democracy Now.
The End of Internet Privacy? Glenn Greenwald on Secret NSA Program to Crack Online Encryption
A new exposé based on the leaks of Edward Snowden have revealed the National Security Agency has developed methods to crack online encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records. “Encryption is really the system that lets the internet function as an important commercial instrument all around the world,” says Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, which collaborated with The New York Times and ProPublica on the reporting. “It’s what lets you enter your credit card number, check your banking records, buy and sell things online, get your medical tests online, engage in private communications, it’s what protects the sanctity of the internet.” Documents leaked by Snowden reveal the NSA spends $250 million a year on a program which, among other goals, works with technology companies to “covertly influence” their product designs. “The entire system is now being compromised by the NSA and their British counterpart, the GCHQ,” Greenwald says. “Systematic efforts to ensure that there is no form of human commerce, human electronic communication, that is ever invulnerable to their prying eyes.”
“Undermining the Very Fabric of the Internet”: Bruce Schneier on NSA’s Secret Online Spying
In an effort to undermine cryptographic systems worldwide, the National Security Agency has manipulated global encryption standards, utilized supercomputers to crack encrypted communications, and has persuaded — sometimes coerced — internet service providers to give it access to protected data. Is there any way to confidentially communicate online? We speak with security technologist and encryption specialist Bruce Schneier, who is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He has been working with The Guardian on its recent NSA stories, and has read hundreds of top-secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden. “I have resisted saying this up to now, and I am saddened to say it, but the U.S. has proved to be an unethical steward of the internet. The U.K. is no better. The NSA’s actions are legitimizing the internet abuses by China, Russia, Iran and others,” wrote Schneier on Thursday.