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Encryption Communications Government United States

NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data 406

jfruh writes: This may not come as a huge shock, but the director of the NSA doesn't believe that you have the right to encrypt your data in a way that the government can't access it. At a cybersecurity policy event, Michael Rogers said that the U.S. should be able to craft a policy that allows the NSA and law enforcement agencies to read encrypted data when they need to.
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NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data

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  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:29PM (#49120935)

    Go fuck yourself.

    That is all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You seem to forget these people are part of the Obama Administration and take their direction from him.

      He's either oblivious and doesn't give a shit, or he's on board with it.

      Pick one and then say "Dear Rodeo Clown, Go Fuck Yourself."

      • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @04:37PM (#49121561) Homepage

        You say that as if the same kind of crap doesn't go on under the other party's watch. I mean, it's not like the Bush administration started all of the domestic spying that the Obama administration decided to continue.

        Oh... Wait...

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @04:47PM (#49121657)

          come on already - neither party actually makes the decisions, it's all coming from above. they're just there to polarise and divide us from unifying against them ;)

          you take a look at the likes of Canada and Australia and you can see there is a common directive in regards to putting everyone under surveillance, gutting environmental protection and putting in place laws that allow corporations to sue the government in regard to laws that may affect their profit margins.

          I really wish some whistleblower somewhere amongst the power elite was able to get us the evidence of who's calling the shots - just like NSA spying on us, there were hints of it happening out there and a lot of IT professionals suspected it - but suspicion isn't enough to make people pay attention.

          • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @05:02PM (#49121785) Homepage
            Sadly, the American public went back to their reality TV shows and all-you-can-eat buffets shortly after the Snowden leaks. They just don't have the attention span to pay attention for more than a couple of weeks at most. A little distraction on social issues in the mean time and when it comes time to vote, they dutifully line up to vote for the very politicians who are bending them over.
          • Woodrow Wilson already did that when he was leaving office. It was quite direct and regretful of what he had done.

          • Seriously, this has been tackled and answered. People just don't want to believe it, and of course the same powers pulling the strings own all of the media "average" people consume. Carol Quigley's "Tragedy and Hope" is a comprehensive book covering the whole thing. Nobody wants to read the 1300 pages, because it's hard and quite frankly scary to contemplate. Gary Allen's book was a severely limited rehash of details found in "Tragedy and Hope" attempting to wake people up to what is really happening.

        • by dunkindave ( 1801608 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @04:47PM (#49121661)
          CIA was created in 1947 and the NSA in 1952, both under Truman, a Democrat. Due to domestic spying abuses (by both sides), Executive Order 12333 was passed to curtail it in 1991 by Reagan, a Republican.

          Both sides have used and abused their authorities regarding monitoring of US person, though be careful when trying to throw stones. The issues you bring up did not first appear under Bush, but each president has had the power to address it, and so far I only see Reagan made a decent attempt at trying to stop it.
          • Sorry for the typo, EO12333 was signed end of 1981, by Reagan within his first year after taking office.
          • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @04:57PM (#49121745) Homepage

            It's interesting that you only provide facts that defend one side while conveniently ignoring everything else.

            Under which administration did all of the domestic surveillance get started? Under W Bush, a Republican. What did Obama do? Kept going with business as usual. BOTH parties are guilty of letting the NSA run amok. It doesn't matter under what circumstances it was created. Hell, the two parties in this day and age are nothing like they were even back in the 80's, much less the 40's and 50's when the Republicans were desegregating while the Democrats were fighting it. If someone like Reagan were to run today he would be crucified for compromising with the other side and run out of the race in the Iowa caucuses.

            Quite frankly, trying to pin all of the problems with domestic spying on one party or the other is just ignorant. The fact of the matter is that both sides are equally to blame.

            • Under which administration did all of the domestic surveillance get started? Under W Bush, a Republican.

              who modded this up? If you think domestic surveillance only started under bush you are a fool. Everyone knows that going back at LEAST as far as FDR it was going on . then you got hoover in the FBI for how many decades??? McCarthyism??? to think it started under bush is either ignorant or intentionally false

    • by itzly ( 3699663 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:38PM (#49121015)

      I'm still trying to decipher your message. It's a tough one.

    • just like you had a reason to look at stuff, ya goofballs

    • Tb shpx lbhefrys.

      Gung vf nyy.

      Fixed that for you.

    • Well Michael Rogers is doing his job.
      His job a NSA is to find threats... The best way for him to do his job is to ask for more access to data.
      Now don't fault him on asking. The issue comes down to if we as a society are brave enough to say we value our freedom more than our security.

      But his job is to try to maximize security, so to do his job, he will request permission to hinder our freedom.

      If he was going, oh I don't want access to this data. He should be fired for not doing his job. It isn't up to the

      • Now don't fault him on asking. The issue comes down to if we as a society are brave enough to say we value our freedom more than our security.

        I do fault him for asking. By using strong encryption you are essentially saying "I hereby restrict access to this data to authorized users only." The problem Mr. Rogers has is that he lacks the authority to demand access to protected data. This is especially true for warrantless activities, things get much more interesting if he gets a federal warrant. I'd much rather have that discussion take place in a courtroom where everything is out in the open and both sides can argue their legal positions in front o

    • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @04:25PM (#49121453) Journal

      Better phrased:

      "The fourth amendment of the Constitution, the highest law in the land, says 'Go fuck yourself.'"

    • This quote is priceless:

      Rogers objected to using the word “backdoor”. “When I hear the phrase ‘backdoor’, I think, ‘Well, this is kind of shady. Why would you want to go in the backdoor? It would be very public,’” he said. “Again, my view is: We can create a legal framework for how we do this. It isn’t something we have to hide, per se.”

      Too late, I'm afraid. You've lost any sense of credibility you may have had after essentially being caught spying on the entire internet, and especially US citizens. The only reason you're going public is because private individuals and companies are taking the ability to read data at will out of your hands by using state-of-the-art encryption.

      He still can't even answer questions that would logically come up about other countries wanting backdoors, of course:

      Alex Stamos, Yahoo (AS): So you do believe then, that we should build those for other countries if they pass laws?

      Mike Rogers, NSA (MR): I think we can work our way through this.

      AS: I’m sure the Chinese and Russians are going to have the same opinion.

      MR: I said I think we can work through this.

      AS: Okay, nice to meet you. Thanks.


      There are other ways to

    • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @04:52PM (#49121707)

      Once a back door exists, all power hungry countries will find the keys.

    • When encryption is outlawed, only outlaws

      -----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----

      -----END PGP MESSAGE-----

  • by Khashishi ( 775369 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:31PM (#49120951) Journal

    they'll be moving to places with more sensible security policies

  • Since when... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by you-nix-boy ( 698814 ) <> on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:34PM (#49120973)
    ...did having the legal right matter to the NSA? Or recent governments, for that matter...
    • Yes, and no.

      For any governemnt or agency to get away with something like this in the long term they need to have some kind of legal authorization to which they can point their employees. In the case of the NSA they were successful for a relatively long time given the numbers of employees involved before they had one that didn't agree with the legal reasoning and had the guts to expose is. The smaller the project is the less important it is to have the legal basis for your activity because you can limit invo

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:37PM (#49121005)

    Okay, if we receive the legal right to snoop on the NSA. Fair trade.

  • by Rigel47 ( 2991727 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:38PM (#49121009)

    I mean, there are going to be some areas where we’re going to have different perspectives. That doesn’t bother me at all. One of the reasons why, quite frankly, I believe in doing things like this is that when I do that, I say, “Look, there are no restrictions on questions. You can ask me anything.”

    Welcome to the new Amerika. Your possessions and money may be seized at any time via civil asset forfeiture, your communications are under constant surveillance, and now they want to make sure absolutely nothing can be kept private.

    But, hey, so long as we're having "dialogue" (you'll do what you want anyways) and we have your permission to ask questions then it's all good.

    Who really won the cold war?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:38PM (#49121013)

    It's called a subpoena.

    What you want is a system that allows it, and if you have a backdoor, they have it too. Snowden's leaks didn't convince me that you were the all powerful octopus, it convinced me that you were the Keystone Cops of the Information Superhighway. I don't distrust you because of your bad intent. I don't trust you because of your incompetence.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Get a warrant and demand the keys. Or brute force it. Same as a locked box. I know the legal system is such a pain in the ass for making you do your God damned jobs the proper way.

    • "But sir, it will take one hundred billion billion billion gorillian Brazilian computational years to brute force that key"
      "Fine, we'll just ask congress for more money and data centers"

    • Get a warrant and demand the keys. Or brute force it. Same as a locked box. I know the legal system is such a pain in the ass for making you do your God damned jobs the proper way.

      But it's for the children you know.... We just have to get access to save them... (/sarcasm)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:42PM (#49121035)

    Ok, lets assume they are right and the government **should** be allowed to access encrypted data (not that I agree with this).

    Its going to be an absolutely impossible for them to implement technically it without significantly increasing the risk an unauthorized 3rd party can.

    The non-technical way (give me your password) has constitutional issues.

    This falls into two categories.
    1.) Lawful investigation (warrant and all). In this case, encryption has been regarded as a 'locked box' they can seize and search your gun safe but they can not ask you to give up the combination. If they get past that, there are other legal hurdles....The Government cannot compel you to incriminate yourself (give up the key) (5th Amendment).....If that doesn't work, who says you can recall the password or didn't lose the key--This could be fun and I don't know the law.....

    2.) We will call it "Creative Surveillance". Well, thats a whole can of 4th amendment.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      In true Slashdot fashion, I didn't RTFA but is he suggesting:

      1) Hard encryption should be illegal -- ie, you can't actually sell software that does encryption that either the NSA can't break or that doesn't provide key escrow?

      2) Third party vendors (eg, Apple) can't sell devices which self-encrypt in a way that Apple doesn't have access to? Ie, if you buy an iPhone it will self-encrypt but with a key that Apple has access to?

      My guess is he's aiming at the latter, he wants most products that do encryption t

      • And why the fuck would I want to have such a device?

        If this makes anything virtually certain then that people will consider "made in the US" something to steer clear of when it comes to anything that could possibly have anything remotely to do with encryption.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:42PM (#49121043) Homepage

    I was just thinking the rest of the world should have the legal right to kick anybody from the NSA in the nuts.

    These people are assholes who don't give a crap about civil liberties and human rights.

    Mauled by bears would be too good for them.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:44PM (#49121065) Homepage

    The rest of the world don't want products with official US backdoors though. So you'll have a very hard time selling anything US made abroad and you'd have to ban foreign imports that don't comply with your backdoor policy. Probably also all second hand private imports like eBay. And open source. If the NSA didn't cost the US enough money already, it will after that. I remember a time when you had to fight to get non-crippled crypto out of the US, only 40 bits for us schmucks. I guess now you'll have to fight to get non-crippled crypto back in...

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      >> The rest of the world don't want products with official US backdoors though. So you'll have a very hard time selling anything US made abroad

      I don't agree with that.
      Look at how many non-US people still run Windows, even though Microsoft build-in backdoors and provide snooping/data reovery tools such as cigarete to pretty much any official body who asks for them (NSA, FBI and even police forces).

    • "Banned in the US" will become a security seal of approval...

  • Oh the irony... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:46PM (#49121081)

    Back in the cold war era so many of our American leaders criticized the totalitarianism and lack of human rights in China and the Soviet bloc nations. Now fifty some years later we are gradually becoming just like them.

    • We've always wanted to be like that. Only back then we had to put up a facade of being the good guy so the people over there could be bullshitted into thinking they'd have it better over here.

      Yes, essentially the Soviet Union kept us free.

  • The same burblings emerged from our Prime Minister a few weeks ago.

    From him, it was potentially forgivable as the technically ignorant ramblings of a politican trying to score some election points.

    From the Director of the NSA.... he knows exactly what he's asking for. Compulsory key escrow.

    They tried this already with Clipper. They were unanimously told where to shove it. Are we really going to have to fight this battle every 20 years?

    Maybe he's just acting out all petulant because their biggest hack, steal

  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @03:58PM (#49121187)

    the U.S. should be able to craft a policy that allows the NSA and law enforcement agencies to read encrypted data when they need to.

    I don't know how someone so ignorant got to be so high in the bureaucracy, but there is a mechanism for this. It's called a warrant. One of the reasons we have this system is as a failsafe precisely in case that someone so ignorant does happen to get so high in the bureaucracy.

  • Perhaps he hasn't heard all about the one-time-pad?
  • What are companies supposed to do when security agencies in other countries want the same access, such as FSB (Russia)? DIRNSA tried to pass that one over, but it is a real concern -- look at what Blackberry went through with India, for example. And how many other countries has Blackberry provided access to?
  • The whole thing is bullshit.

    He is only trying to mask the fact that they already have broken most if not all encryption.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @04:06PM (#49121265)

    The encryption drive was caused by the NSA and others not obeying due process when they went after information. They used little legal loopholes or just broke the law outright as it suited them. And of course that being known people are going to take steps to protect themselves.

    The damage the NSA has done will take a generation to repair and that would be a generation with the NSA not actively doing damage the entire time. Absent that, we're not going back to the way things were... possibly ever.

    And that means the NSA should get used to running into encrypted brick walls. They had all the trust. Companies would openly brag that their security had been vetted by the NSA. Now, no one says that because there is always the fear that the NSA saw a flaw and intentionally kept it secret so they could exploit it or worse they might have even injected a backdoor in themselves.

    The trust is gone and they have only themselves to blame.

  • NSA: we currently have to go through the secret fisa rubber stamp factory to read encrypted data. thats cumbersome, you're a criminal and we just need time to
    EFF: ok so you can read crypto...thats new...we're going to educate people on crypto...the strong flavor....
    NSA: thats probably evidence of a crime...people shouldnt hide things they dont...
    Google: we just upped our ssl yours.
    NSA: guise...come on...just because we can read SOME crypto doesnt mean all of i
  • I want my communications to be as secure as technically feasible.

    If it's a choice between hobbling my security or hobbling the NSA, I pick hobbling the NSA.

  • I am sorry, but you are not allowed to have those keys for reasons of national security. No I'm not going to explain it, for reasons of national security.

    What? I just play his game!

  • I believe we should craft a policy where Mike Rogers apologizes for his misdeeds and the misdeeds of the NSA in general, and asks, for the sake of humanity, that the NSA be completely and totally destroyed, ideally releasing info that will lead to the destruction of similar agencies around the world (perhaps some conclusive evidence that spies always do more harm than good). Rogers then jumping off a tall building is highly recommended, but I wouldn't consider it mandatory.
  • So âoebackdoorâ is not the context I would use. When I hear the phrase âoebackdoor,â I think, âoewell, this is kind of shady. Why would you want to go in the backdoor?"

    In venues I have read or listened to NSA brass speak they come prepared with exotic definitions of plain language and seek to confuse and manipulate perception by invoking nonsense that would give most lawyers a run for their money.

    Completely Ignoring underlying topic when you act like a weasel hard to understand how it is you expect to earn any respect or consideration for your cause.

  • by Bob the Super Hamste ( 1152367 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @04:25PM (#49121459) Homepage
    I want a pony, and a solid 99.99% pure rhodium toilet, and a private moon base.
    The problem is I won't get those things but the constitution violating NSA Director Michael Rogers stands a reasonable chance of getting what he wants.
  • by jthill ( 303417 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @06:11PM (#49122399)
    A new generation of the oh-so-much-more-important-than-us spouting yet another refrain [] of the Tyrant's Plea.

BASIC is to computer programming as QWERTY is to typing. -- Seymour Papert