Journalism in the Public Interest

Revealed: The NSA’s Secret Campaign to Crack, Undermine Internet Security

Newly revealed documents show that the NSA has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption that automatically secures the emails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world. The project, referred to internally by the codename Bullrun, also includes efforts to weaken the encryption standards adopted by software developers.

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Sep. 5, 2013, 7:32 p.m.

“Microsoft asserted that it had merely complied with “lawful demands” of the government, and in some cases, the collaboration was clearly coerced. Executives who refuse to comply with secret court orders can face fines or jail time.”

But they never hesitated making the whole proposition into a PROFIT CENTER…

Crying all the way to the bank vault!


Sep. 5, 2013, 7:48 p.m.

More than 1,600 new employees hired by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources in the aftermath of Obamacare’s passage include just two described as ‘consumer safety’ officers, but 86 tasked with ‘criminal investigating’ – indicating that the agency is building an army of detectives to sleuth out violations of a law that many in Congress who supported it still find confusing.
Just saying.


Sep. 5, 2013, 7:59 p.m.

I expect some level of snooping-I expect them to protect me day and night and that takes a certain level of secrecy. However, what is more disappointing and didturbing to me is the playground bully bullshit tactics they use to make those trying to do the right thing people cave to their demands.  On a grander scale-the damage done to the reputation of the United States as a country will be even lower than it already was.  I expect the backlash from other countries after all the Snowden files are released will be grand and payback is hell.  On a more positive note-a few key listening in sessions or email snooping of B of A and the horrible OneWest would clear up this mortgage mess and lay blame where it needs to be.


Sep. 5, 2013, 8 p.m.

Microshit has been installing back doors for at least a decade. If a company is useful; they likely handed over the keys. Like wordpress for example. Double encrypt your traffic while using a zip file. How about that one. Notice facebook is very useful for gleaning info as well.

Charles Bast

Sep. 5, 2013, 8:19 p.m.

President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil) could start shaking bodies directly linked to the Presidency of the Republic, such as ABIN, Intelligence Agency of the Federal Government, which is connected to the GSI, commanded by General José Elito Carvalho Siqueira, the uninformed of Nation. ABIN is an animal (or monster) stranger in the current state, it spends over US$ 300 million annually and is a body full of dirty tricks. One of them is to be the central organ of selling fake certificates. A simple search on the website of the Federal Court of Belém do Pará, the name of the defendant sentenced to imprisonment, RAIMUNDO RIBEIRO DE ARAUJO FILHO, Criminal Procedure JFPA No. 18404-25.2010.4.01.3900, will confirm this bad news for President Dilma.

President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), despite being a victim of torture during the military regime (1964-1985), keeps supporters of the authoritarian period in commissioned positions relevant federal administration, for example in ABIN, Intelligence Agency Government Federal. On June 9, 2013, the President of the State Commission of the Truth of Rio de Janeiro and the National Commission for Human Rights of the Bar Association of Brazil (OAB), Wadih Damous, called for the resignation of the Director General of ABIN, Ronaldo Martins Belham, due to the fact that this is the son of retired Gen. Antonio Nogueira Belham, head of DOI-Codi of Rio de Janeiro at the time the then congressman Rubens Paiva was murdered in 1971 after being arrested in Rio de Janeiro.

John Hardin

Sep. 5, 2013, 8:21 p.m.

> Cryptographers have long suspected that the agency
> planted vulnerabilities in a standard adopted in 2006
> by the National Institute of Standards and Technology,
> the United States’ encryption standards body, and later
> by the International Organization for Standardization,
> which has 163 countries as members.
> Classified N.S.A. memos appear to confirm that the
> fatal weakness, discovered by two Microsoft cryptographers
> in 2007, was engineered by the agency. The N.S.A. wrote
> the standard and aggressively pushed it on the international
> group, privately calling the effort “a challenge in finesse.”

Likely this:

Michael Killen

Sep. 5, 2013, 9:09 p.m.

Look, guys, I’m a Brit and I’ve got to say just how appalled I am that the US an UK governments are behaving in such reprehensible ways.

Read the original piece over at The Guardian -

Both Brits and Yanks need to hang their heads in shame that they do this to their people.

I’m a Brit, and I am ashamed of my country.


Sep. 5, 2013, 9:47 p.m.

I am disappointed that the publications allowed themselves to be bullied to leave parts out. As of now, any more dealing with MS and Skype are out. And I think I will have to cancel my google accounts.
This quote from the NSA is particularly disturbing.

Edward should be pushing this information out to everywhere. IT can then be posted on sites worldwide and we can get this all settled by shutting down the Patriot Act which was written and passed by treasonous house and Senate members.

A more general NSA classification guide reveals more detail on the agency’s deep partnerships with industry, and its ability to modify products. It cautions analysts that two facts must remain top secret: that NSA makes modifications to commercial encryption software and devices “to make them exploitable”, and that NSA “obtains cryptographic details of commercial cryptographic information security systems through industry relationships”.

It is a good thing that we have an important debate on killing civilians in Syria so this news can be buried also.

John Samuels

Sep. 5, 2013, 9:49 p.m.

Obviously this article is bound to create a lot of publicity. And obviously there are a lot of people who concerned about their privacy and will make very sad comments about NSA and government in this comments section. Still I would like ask the author a few questions:

1. Does he believe that spying is necessary. i.e. spying on terrorists to prevent another 9/11 or spying on other countries to have upper hand in political negotiations. or to prevent another Iraq VMD miss-information.

2. If author believe that spying is necessary, how it supposed to be done?

3. Would it defeat NSA methods to intercept electronic communications if they become public? And what NSA supposed to do about it?

4. After all these methods become public and useless do we expect NSA to spend another bunch of taxpayer money to rebuild new capabilities?

I understand that discussion about US citizen privacy is important, but it supposed to be about “checks and balances” not the methods how NSA finds it targets.

Debt Suspension Rights

Sep. 5, 2013, 9:55 p.m.

It seems to me as if Mr. John Samuels has made many excellent points and I hope ProPublica studies his comment and does a follow up article addressing his points.

Nermal Fobit

Sep. 5, 2013, 10:16 p.m.


I’m afraid that’s already happened, and no one much cared because it happened to the right people. The IRS specifically targeted Tea Party groups at the behest of political appointees. This isn’t controversial, nor are the basic facts in dispute.

Shill Busters

Sep. 5, 2013, 10:19 p.m.

So John Samuels, you think they way to fight terrorism is to destroy privacy and freedom? You think it entails weakening security and inserting backdoors that criminals and foreign governments are likely to discover and use for their own gain? You must be highly naive if you think that only “the terrorists” are affected by the NSA’s actions.

Nermal Fobit

Sep. 5, 2013, 10:21 p.m.

John Samuels,

If the methods in question are an inherent violation of civil rights, then yes, the methods themselves need to be re-examined. Besides, we know the NSA has been ignoring the laws governing its operations, many of which have to do with the protection of American citizens’ rights.

Your comment makes me wonder if you aren’t too close to this to be objective about it. It isn’t “sad” when people are upset about their long-cherished rights being violated. It’s a sign of a healthy love of freedom, something you might want to rediscover for yourself.

Shill Busters

Sep. 5, 2013, 10:28 p.m.

Oh and John Samuels, general warrants are also great ways for the government to track down and prosecute criminals. But there’s also a good reason why they are prohibited by the Bill of Rights. Too many innocent people get caught in them. Oh and that’s before you get to the NSA violating privacy rules 1000s of times:

And how they were lying the FISA courts:

The world would be much better off without a bunch of people who surrender all freedom because they can’t stop pissing themselves over phantom terrorists and terrorist attacks.  The very same attacks that have magnitudes less likelihood of ever happening to you over being killed in a car accident or dying of a heart attack:

To quote from the article:

“The U.S. Department of State reports that only 17 U.S. citizens were killed worldwide as a result of terrorism in 2011. That figure includes deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq and all other theaters of war.”

You’re odds of dying from cancer and a heart attack is about 30,000 times higher than from a terrorist attack.

Jeffrey Lebowski

Sep. 5, 2013, 10:41 p.m.

A sincere thank you to The Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica for reporting this story despite the urgings of the “intelligence community.” This is out community, our country, our world, not their’s. And yes, Jeffrey Lebowski is my “real” name!


Sep. 5, 2013, 11 p.m.

With weekly releases of snowden’s information.. do we really need to think why Syria has become an interest? Wag the dog, distract with shiny objects.. give media something else to publish.

Add data is crackable but with better and longer passwords you have a better shot at making data secure. Programs like true crypt have an advantage based on two seperate models.

1) it has 3 encryption methods not just the weakest AES
2) when encrypted you make the keys for it by physical mouse movement and not computer generated patterns. this adds in the human random component into the mix.

whoever thought handing data to another company was secure in any way is insane. Cloud storage is in effect like handing your car over to a lot attendant. if you need to know what I am talking about, go watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off again.

Mike W

Sep. 5, 2013, 11:01 p.m.

An awful lot of comments here seem to be concerned with “terrorists”. It’s pretty clear to me that’s just shorthand for “anyone we don’t like”. Get real, people. Nazis called French ‘partisans’ terrorists too. And the US is the gorilla in the room with more bombs than anyone. See: Syria. If we kill civilians there, are we all terrorists? Or just some of us?

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 5, 2013, 11:04 p.m.

@Leo Porteur

NSA is not “spying on the general public.” Please read the article.

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 5, 2013, 11:07 p.m.

@Nermal Fobit

“I’m afraid that’s already happened, and no one much cared because it happened to the right people. The IRS specifically targeted Tea Party groups at the behest of political appointees. This isn’t controversial, nor are the basic facts in dispute.”

The IRS revealed the truth, which is that liberal groups were targeted far more than the Tea Party. Please try to keep up and stop parroting GOP lies.

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 5, 2013, 11:08 p.m.

@Nermal Fobit

“...The IRS specifically targeted Tea Party groups at the behest of political appointees….”

The IRS revealed the truth, which is that liberal groups were targeted far more than the Tea Party. Please try to keep up and stop parroting GOP lies.

Shill Busters

Sep. 5, 2013, 11:13 p.m.

NSA is not “spying on the general public.”

Oh really?

“Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order.”


Sep. 5, 2013, 11:21 p.m.

here is more corporate snooping news

search “Test ‘reveals Facebook, Twitter and Google snoop on emails’: Study of net giants spurs new privacy concerns”


Sep. 5, 2013, 11:49 p.m.

We as a nation have perfected the practice of surveillance and deception.
Unfortunately it is not directed to our enemy but to our own citizens

Jay S Edelman

Sep. 5, 2013, 11:58 p.m.

As former Sun MicroSystems CEO Scott McNealy once famously quipped, “You have no privacy, get over it.”  The context was different, but the point remains the same: when you use any form of electronic communication, you essentially forfeit all expectations of privacy. Maybe not the details, but the very fact that your communication took place will leave a trace of itself throughout the networks and storage systems across the cyber universe.  That’s a fact of life, and it isn’t going to change.  On top of that, we have increasing allowed ourselves to be observed in the physical world through a web of video cameras liberally spread in public (and many so-called private) spaces.  And this also won’t change.  I know there is a lot of outrage sparked by the intrusive, arrogant and self-serving nature of NSA’s surveillance technology.  But it exists, and can’t be uninvented, and you can be sure that the Chinese and Russians are not that far behind, and a lot less likely to respect individual privacy rights than the NSA is.  The best we can do is to make sure that our laws and legal system protects us from ourselves, since we can’t really stop the evolution of encryption and encryption breaking technologies.

Nabeel Zabak

Sep. 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Leo Cotnoir or no Loe Cotnoir, my country has failed it’s people, that is the reality.  Total control of everything does not get you security, it actually works the exact opposite, it causes anxiety, then depression and eventually a total nervous breakdown.

Lorraine Lee

Sep. 6, 2013, 1:23 a.m.

Naming these programs after “civil war” battles suggests that this may not be as much about protecting the country as about tamper-proofing authority.


Sep. 6, 2013, 3:24 a.m.

If it is true*, thatt you agreed with #NSA not to publish certain Facts (to suppress information to their wish) about this matter, you’re in my eyes not better than they are. From now on i will consider you as a medium of desinformation in conjunction with the #NSA and equaly unbelivable as NYT and Guardian.

*heres where they publish that you agreed to suppress information


Sep. 6, 2013, 3:51 a.m.

I see physical courier services becoming a hot growth industry soon.

Banks are knowingly compromised?  That’s quite a large fraud. 

The Guardian piece could possibly come to be the most important journalism article in history.

Karl Kaefer

Sep. 6, 2013, 4:53 a.m.

Outside of America or the UK people didn´t have a chance to elect the politicians who are in duty to control a NSA or GCHQ (constitution!) but don´t want to. Regarding other secret services: if they have the chance to, they would do the same (e.g. tapping sea cables, manipulating Telecom firms etc). But they haven´t got the same opportunities as especially the NSA. Actually WW II code breaking alliance is going on - only the number of enemies has increased: of course - as in former times - occupied continental Europe (occupied now by Germany and France), Russia, Japan. Later entries into the charts: China, SE Asia (Vietnam!), some Arabian CFs ...

Any chance to change? Maybe you check your candidate before giving him or her your vote if you have the chance to elect…


Sep. 6, 2013, 5:18 a.m.

The NSA is controlled by a Secret Court.  Even with that, they do what they want.  Karl, voting or not voting for an elected official will do NOTHING in any way to change the NSA.


Sep. 6, 2013, 6:55 a.m.

Born in the Great Depression, I remember growing up through World War II and other wars, the foreign attack warnings, the Big Bomb, fire safety drills in school, a warning from my friend at Civil Defense:  “When the bomb comes, run - don’t walk - to the nearest mirror and kiss your ass goodbye - we survived.  So I finally came to believe that America was impervious to attack.

911 changed all that.

Government was created to protect the public.  It should spy on terrorists - BUT THAT’S ALL!

Wolfin Sheepsclothing

Sep. 6, 2013, 7:48 a.m.

This NEUTERED article is almost useless- IT DOES NOT TELL US WHICH COMPANIES AND SECURITY TECHNOLOGIES HAVE THE BACKDOORS. Therefore we cannot plan our lives around this supposed ‘revelation’. Thus, this article is not brave at all. You baulked and blew it.

Ian Fraser

Sep. 6, 2013, 8:03 a.m.


You clearly have no understanding of journalism or how it works. It is customary for journalists to contact the organisation and/or person about which they are writing ahead of publication in order to give them a chance to comment on the story. Their comment / denial / refusal to comment is then, of appropriate, incorporated into the published article. In the UK, this is more or less a legal requirement given the libel laws. I don’t know about the US but it is probably similar.

Thank you.


Tom Limoncelli

Sep. 6, 2013, 8:07 a.m.

@Wendy Schwartz: That could happen without the government spying.  It would just be less targeted.

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 6, 2013, 9:47 a.m.

@Nabeel Zabak,

Your comment is nothing short of paranoid hysteria. Our government has not failed us nor is it attempted to establish “total control.” Like it or not, the bad guys use the same encrypted communications as the rest of us. It is clearly in our best interests for the responsible authorities to be able to read their communications. Instead of railing idiotically against imaginary government conspiracies we should 1) be glad that NSA is as competent as it is and 2) seek to ensure that it operates under effective oversight. Consider that the government can easily read your snail mail but doesn’t. Just because they CAN read your encrypted email does not mean that they DO.

Tom River

Sep. 6, 2013, 10:48 a.m.

Good for them They can read my e-mail anytime
Long as I do not have to worry about a bomb going off in a building
God bless America and the people who protect us

Mike Porter

Sep. 6, 2013, 11:16 a.m.

The problem is when does the intelligence gathered change from national security interests to that of corporate interests?

In the US, we now have insane laws that make video taping on farms illegal and label those that do so as terrorists.  Is the NSA going to eavesdrop on those seeking to expose terrible farming practices and turn over such information to state or federal authorities who will then crack down on those evil animal lovers?

We all know what the NSA could do or at least suspect what it could do.  So, now the big question is: are you limiting the data’s use to intelligence, or do the results leak into criminal?  And who is making the decisions as to what goes where? Secret courts?  Subject to what influences?  Overseen by who?

There are those of us who believe big oil needs to be removed from national power.  Others are going to feel that big oil must remain.  Big oil will attempt to influence policy such that anyone opposing them is labeled in a criminal manner.  Those of us who see that oil is best not burned at this point disagree strongly.  So, who does the NSA support?  Those with enough money to craft the laws?  Where does the NSA obtain its moral imperative?  Harry Pearce does not run the NSA, I suspect, and if he did, he would “have commited suicide” by now.  (Those of you who know this reference: I have not gotten to the end of the series.  Maybe Harry is a bad guy :-) )


Sep. 6, 2013, 11:16 a.m.

O.K we get it. We’ve been screwed once again. Now, can we file a million strong class law suit against all parties that perpetrated this lie of “internet Privacy” ?
If yes, you civil minded lawyers out there can become super rich and help freedom, before it’s all gone. The corpse of Bin Ladden is laughing his skeleton off right now and the NSA is reading my email and plotting how to get me.  Death by drone perhaps?


Sep. 6, 2013, 11:22 a.m.

Given the current approach of the NSA and equivalent agencies, I have to join the people in asking why any journalist would even consider running a story like this by them.  They’ve lied.  They’ve threatened.  They’ve demanded.  The very fact that this story went anywhere near them makes it suspect.  The fact that it was modified (by removing supporting data) due to their feedback is terrifying.

If I wanted to know how the NSA wished itself to be represented, I’d read their asinine Tumblr page.  If I wanted fear-mongering generalizations, there are plenty of sites with green Comic Sans text on a black background that I could be reading.  I’m not entirely sure how this is in the public interest, at the end of the day.

The story is in the public interest, but what’s published here is, alas, not the story.

Here are some questions that need answering, here, to be useful:

1.  What aspects of SSL are compromised?  There are many Open Source implementations under constant scrutiny.  Revealing the flaws would allow it to be fixed, whereas hiding behind the generality condemns us to exploitation.

2.  Is there any evidence of their success against cryptography?  If not, how likely is this to be real as opposed to propaganda to scare people away from encryption?

3.  Given that they claim these programs are integral to our continued success against terrorism, what kind of tools and encryption do terrorists use?

4.  During the time discussed, the government’s crusade against PGP suddenly stopped.  Why?  At the time, it was widely assumed that a crack had been found, and it sounds like there is evidence one way or another backing this article.

5.  How does Snowden’s information here fit with that of whistle-blowers over the last twenty or so years?  We’ve been hearing bits and pieces of especially what’s presented here for a long time, but it was widely dismissed as uncorroborated.  If it’s now corroborated, it’s surely at least as newsworthy as a recap of the Clipper chip (which wasn’t exactly a secret).

6.  The Bush administration (to their rare credit) publicly dismissed the Total Information Awareness project as too dangerous.  How does that fit into this larger context?

To me, these are the sorts of questions that need answering, here, not just some hand-waving that, yes, the NSA spies on a lot of stuff they shouldn’t be spying on.  I feel like we’ve already established that pretty thoroughly.

John Mitchell

Sep. 6, 2013, 11:34 a.m.

The statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is of course disingenuous obfuscation.

The claim that “the fact that NSA’s mission includes deciphering enciphered communications is not a secret, and is not news” is meant to mislead - the salient point is that the NSA now spies on American citizens, including decrypting banking and medical records. That is certainly news, and it most certainly was a secret until this article was published.

The claim that “Anything that yesterday’s disclosures add to the ongoing public debate is outweighed by the road map they give to our adversaries ...” is glaring in its hypocrisy. Given that previous articles have revealed that information obtained from NSA spying has been shared with local police and other agencies for purposes unrelated to terrorism investigations, it is clear that the NSA includes U.S. citizens among its adversaries. The appropriate response is for U.S. citizens to consider the NSA as an adversary, and to welcome any information that helps us evade their surveillance. I agree with Alex Warofka’s post above: the media should publish details on the NSA’s cryptanalytic capabilities, to help U.S. citizens evade the agencies illegal spying.

I once worked for a federally funded institute that does mathematical research in cryptology for the NSA, alongside researchers from the NSA, GCHQ, etc. We were told repeatedly that the NSA is not permitted to spy on U.S. citizens and does not do so. I believe that at that time, this was true, but the NSA has now clearly abandoned all pretense of following the rule of law. Who would be so naive to believe that all this secret information will not be used for nefarious purposes?


Sep. 6, 2013, 11:34 a.m.

Think about it ppl., the Internet was created by the adversary. This is another way our so-called leaders can keep tabs and controll it’s ppl.. The only freedom and security a person truly has is in YAHWEH & YAHSHUA, but unfortunately some ppl. do not believe this. I suppose after writing my thoughts, I’ll be labeled a terrorist because of my belief in The Creator & not man. Take note NSA, I don’t look to man for my safety because you don’t have the POWER. PEACE


Sep. 6, 2013, 11:51 a.m.

“Please post the full documents so that other individuals and organizations may also analyze these documents without editorialization.”—True.

“Time to retire the generals, fire the private contractors and shutter the agency.”—Doubly true.

Anderdon Porter

Sep. 6, 2013, 11:53 a.m.


By tracking your utility smart-meter use activity.

By tracking when you cross bridges, or other points, on your bridge toll fastrak device.

By reading everything you ever wrote, read, looked at or clicked on in Facebook, Google, Twitter and any other “social media” site no matter how high you set your privacy settings. Don’t use “social media” if you don’t want to be tracked, and have your experiences processed to sell you ads and lose all of your privacy. Shut off all of your social media accounts. You don’t need any of them. Post this posting in blogs about any “social media”.

By reading any device that your bluetooth can connect to or transmit from, or to. Turn off Bluetooth. If your computer is offline but your phone or tablet is connected to your computer, hackers can backdoor into your computer through any connected device.

By reading your use of, location of use and activity when you use any ATM.

By using any aspect of Google. Google exists simply to spy on, and track people.

By using a parking lot monthly, daily or pay-per-use card or device. Pay by cash.

By logging all of your profile versions and communications on dating sites.

By being in any major city. Every major city has cameras that cross cover every part of the city. The cameras in stores and on buildings are crossed over. Most every bus, police car and many utlities vehicles share their cameras to the common database which any group can access.

By watching you from drones that are so high, or so small, you can’t see them.

By watching what you watch on Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Comcast, Xfinity and similar media outlets.

By using less than three mouse clicksevery Dell Server, Cisco router, Linksys device, Intel motherboard and Netgear device can be “backdoored” open and every document it is attached to read, opened and acquired.

By making the phone manufacturers Apple, HTC, Samsung, etc. put a secret switch in your phone so they can kill your phone remotely if you start to organize. Buy the oldest phone you can find, without GPS or even a screen. The old ones won’t have tracking chips.

By lasering, microwaving or otherwise bouncing energy off the windows or objects in your home or office to listen to you by recording the air vibrations of those objects that your voice causes.

By reading your location of uses, direction of travel, individual actions, trends in purchases, amounts of purchases and time of purchases for each and every credit card and debit card use.

By intercepting the network application in your car dashboard and watching the people behind you and on the street via the back-up camera in your car.

By using deaf people or specialized computers to read your lips no matter how far away you are or what windows you are behind.

By remote activating any camera on your computer, mobile device, TV, or any other location and watching you while putting fake screen information on your screen so you do not know they are watching you. Remove the battery of any mobile device when not using it. Hacker software makes your device appear to be turned off but it is still alive and watching you.

By reading every email that passes over any server in the world and by logging your passwords for any server.

By looking through walls with wifi distortion field devices, interferometry devices and EMF grid sensors.

By simply turning on software products such as Predator, Carnivore, CALEA, Prism, DCSNET, and over 100 others that exist to automatically acquire every personal information element they can find in an unattended manner.

By monitoring the GPS, Siri, OnStar, Microsoft Sync, Tesla dashboard, Nokia Here Audio and any other networked electronics in your car. Don’t buy a “smart car” if you don’t want to be watched every second you drive it. You can be listened to through it. Your GPs signal can be hacked and rerouted through it.

By reading the GPS, cell phone signal triangulation, bluetooth, Near Field Communications chip, modem or any other signal on your cell phone or table. Remove the battery on any device you don’t want to be tracked on. Only use an old cheap phone with no GPS and no internet capability.

By using fake cell towers called “sting rays”,

The proven “targeting” of political adversaries by the IRS, and others, shows that, given the chance to use the system against those with other views, they always will.


Sep. 6, 2013, 12:02 p.m.

No, I really do NOT care, at all, what the f’ing NSA does, or does not do, regarding the internet…
If the NSA is so all-powerful, why do we still have *SPAM*, at all…???...
Why is IDENTITY THEFT a problem, at all…???...
All this NSA “scary stuff” is just that…a distraction, and a show of smoke-and-mirrors, to keep the SHEEPLE running scared…and distracted…
No, I didn’t bother reading the article, or any of the other comments…
The WORST the NSA can do, is NOTHING, really…
Think about it, people!
What if the NSA had every old *TELEGRAM* on file…???...
In 5, 10 years, it WILL NOT MATTER AT ALL…*F* the NSA…

Bill J. Johnson

Sep. 6, 2013, 12:04 p.m.

Some naive comments today. Ever wonder why your printer drivers are so large? I wonder about all the various chips in my machines, including thumb drives. Video cards. Modems. CPUs, of course.

The good news is your Commodore 64s still in the basements are pretty valuable right now.


Sep. 6, 2013, 12:20 p.m.

We know now that 1984 has come, but it has not gone.  Big Brother is in charge.


Sep. 6, 2013, 1:47 p.m.

The article states quite plainly that the NSA hacks into American companies computer network and steals encryption algorithms.  How can this be remotely legal?

William Hansen

Sep. 6, 2013, 2:48 p.m.

“Only they are cleared for the Bullrun program, the successor to one called Manassas — both names of American Civil War battles.”

Actually, they are both names of the *same* battle. The Union Army tended to name battles after nearby rivers; the Confederates, nearby towns.

Inego Montoya

Sep. 6, 2013, 3:22 p.m.

the Encryption world has been under the control of the NSA for going on 2 decades for crying out loud.

security is only so good,  the NSAs taps on the trunk lines have been known about as well, Snowden’s revelations are stuff most CISSP’s have known for sometime.
I watch traffic as it hits our network, I have little doubt the NSA could with the help of Cisco, Microslop, and Telco hardware vendors bypass any firewall on the planet.

every router, firewall, switch purchased in the US since about 1996 has a little tag on it that say NSA compliant.

Robert Melton

Sep. 6, 2013, 3:22 p.m.

How will the will the world business community respond, when they realize that all of their proprietary secrets are no longer safe ? This
will hurt our commerce as much as it hurts our right to privacy

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