The NSA Can Decrypt More Stuff Than You Think

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The Guardian and the New York Times have blockbuster stories today about the NSA’s surprising success in cracking encryption standards that until now everyone has considered safe. More about this later. But here’s a single tidbit from the Times story:

In one case, after the government learned that a foreign intelligence target had ordered new computer hardware, the American manufacturer agreed to insert a back door into the product before it was shipped, someone familiar with the request told The Times.

I guess the lesson here is not to buy network equipment from US companies. I don’t imagine that US purveyors of network equipment are very happy about this revelation.

Awkward question: Was this story timed to coincide with the G20 meeting in Russia?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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