Latest NSA revelations no surprise, but...Posted by freespeech on Saturday, 7 September 2013
The latest NSA revelations confirm the systematic manner in which the NSA exploits known and potentially unknown backdoors to work around cryptography. This is not surprising, I speculated briefly about the OpenBSD and Windows NSA key incidents when Snowden originally came into view. Even two days ago, a detailed piece in Wired Magazine predicted many of the things that are in today's headlines., although Schneier indicates in The Guardian he had seen some of the material before publication.
What we really need to know
- Are certificate authorities compromised too, either the key material or the operational processes?
- Just how long do keys need to be to stay one step ahead? I previously discussed the 2048 v 4096 bit RSA key trade-off, but is that still sufficient?
- Does the CIA really have an alien or UFO?
- We have seen the acknowledgement of LOVEINT, but what about DEMINT, the extent to which democracy is subverted or manipulated by agenices wanting to protect their funding or gain more power?
- When Britain refused the extradition of UFO hunter/hacker Gary McKinnon in 2012, was this a politically negotiated outcome based on GCHQ "pulling their weight" for Americans? The extradition treaty between the countries is largely regarded as being heavily weighted against the interest of British citizens who are separated from their families and denied British legal aid and other protections.
If the NSA and CIA have had these capabilities, just how much did they really know before and during the financial crisis that kicked off in 2007? Could the crisis have been averted? It was already known that the Greek parliament was wired, was the NSA involved in similar shenanigans? This could well be part of the Snowden revelations that we are yet to see.
In fact, it is this last issue that could be the most damaging for "US interests". If countries (or their citizens) receive such undeniable evidence of a CIA conspiracy exposed by Snowden in broad daylight and they refuse to pay debts then it could lead to major re-alignment of international politics, alliances and treaties. Syria would be just the tip of the iceberg.