I have always trusted Bruce Schneier, author of the much-respected 1996 “Applied Cryptography.”
Glenn Greenwald showed Schneier some of the Snowden documents that featured in today’s stories by The Guardian, The New York Times and Propublica. They are the most important, upsetting revelations to date from the Snowden trove. Without doubt.
The NSA, says Schneier, has been breaking most of the encryption on the Net. He says the U.S. government has betrayed the Internet and we need to take it back.
Schneier summarizes what the NSA has done to make the Internet a more dangerous place and five ways to stay safe online: Hide in the network. Encrypt your communications. Assume that while your computer can be compromised, it would take work and risk by the NSA – so it probably isn’t. Be suspicious of commercial encryption software, especially from large vendors. Try to use public-domain encryption.
The NSA was told in the mid-1990s that it could not have the Clipper Chip, the backdoor it wanted into our digital lives . Silicon Valley and Bill Gates objected. By 1996 the Clipper Chip was defunct. So the NSA decided to begin breaking-and-entering on its own. Without our approval.
Greenwald/Snowden gave the public some time to prepare today’s disclosure. First, give it a series of primers on the extent to which the NSA is spying on the American public (not to mention allies). Then unload this zinger.
I want more details. What exactly is compromised? Is everything I do using SSL on my Mozilla Firefox browser compromised?
Boing Boing tweeted KEEP CALM AND USE OPEN SOURCE CRYPTO. Excellent advice. Time to revise my anti-surveillance toolkit.