Feds Beg NY Times, Pro Publica Not To Reveal That They’ve Inserted Backdoors Into Internet Encryption


We already wrote about the latest reports coming out of the Snowden leaks, concerning how the NSA and GCHQ have effectively backdoored their way into breaking various encryption schemes by writing the standards themselves and recruiting internal spies within companies to covertly inject backdoors. The reporting on these documents was done jointly by The Guardian, the NY Times and Pro Publica. However, the NY Times coverage has one interesting tidbit not in the Guardian:

thorough and detailed explanation for why it chose to publish the story, which is well worth reading:

big fight over the Clipper Chip, an NSA-created form of encryption with backdoors. That fight ended with the NSA losing… and now it appears that they just ignored that and effectively spent the past few decades doing the same exact thing, but in secret. That deserves public exposure and discussion.

Pro Publica points out that this country is founded on a fundamental belief that you can't just "trust" the government, and yet the government is asking us to do exactly that here, as they prove time and time again not to be credible or worthy of trust.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Kudos to all three publications for taking this step. It's unfortunate that they need to do this, but it's a sad statement on the way the US and UK governments have acted.

Update: The Guardian also mentions that intelligence officials asked them not to publish.

Leave a comment