Schwachstellen in Sicherheitsprodukte einbauen

“Building in vulnerabilities in security products,” one of several methods the N.S.A. and G.C.H.Q. used to unlock encryption methods previously thought secure, according to the Guardian.co.uk, NYTimes.com and ProPublica.org. When the Canadian company BlackBerry updated its encryption in 2009, for example, the N.S.A. cracked it in mere months, according to a Spiegel.de article headlined “Champagne!

These two large agencies and their partners in e.g. the Five Eyes alliance have also been benefiting from encryption cracking via supercomputers, targeted hacking committees, strange U.S. letters and court orders that forbid the ordered from ever mentioning the order, an N.S.A. Computer Solutions Center that “provided security testing” for tech products, subversion of international security standards used by developers but especially persuasion of tech companies, whose names remain most secret.

Tagesschau.de reported on 06 Sep 2013 that the “Bankenverband“—the name indicates an association of banks but the reporter did not define it more specifically—announced that N.S.A. employees and contractors can only view Germans’ online banking but cannot transfer money out of (“plunder”) their accounts. German consumers will not be reassured by this.

Brazil’s TV Globo on 08 Sep 2013 added to the list of snooped targets the international S.W.I.F.T. bank transfer network, the closed computer networks of “airlines, foreign governments, power companies and financial institutions” and the state-owned Brazilian oil company Petrobras, increasing fears of industrial espionage by the U.S.A. and its allies.

The Guardian.co.uk article on the targeted placement of back doors into encryption software was very angry about how vulnerable to criminals this makes everyone (called “the consumer and other adversaries” in one Snowden trove document). Weakening software causes people to commit crimes who wouldn’t normally have done so.

(Sh VOCHH shtell en   in   ZICHH ah heights prod OOK teh   EYE n bough en.)

Aufsichtsrat für Privatsphäre und Freiheitsrechte

“Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board,” oversight in this case meaning not overlooking but supervising, or at least providing their boss with advice. The White House has had one of these since 2004 when Congress established it in response to a recommendation in the 9/11 Commission Report. The advisory board has five members, nominated by the President and approved by Congress. They “serve at the President’s pleasure.”

FederalRegister.gov lists some of the board’s history and the following responsibilities.

“The Board advises the President and other senior executive branch officials to ensure that concerns with respect to privacy and civil liberties are appropriately considered in the implementation of all laws, regulations, and executive branch policies related to efforts to protect the Nation against terrorism. This includes advising on whether adequate guidelines, supervision, and oversight exist to protect these important legal rights of all Americans. In addition, the Board is specifically charged with responsibility for reviewing the terrorism information sharing practices of executive branch departments and agencies to determine whether guidelines designed to appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties are being followed[.]”

What changes could have been made to this board or other institutions that might have prevented the last decade’s vast growth in U.S.-led collection—by U.S. government agencies, international private-sector companies and friendly foreign governments’ agencies—of domestic and foreign communications? What would have kept our intelligence industry manageable and monitored and transparent enough for a democracy?

(OW! f zichh ts rot   foor   pree VOT s fare eh   oont   FRYE heights rect eh.)

Null-Nummer

“A nada number,” zilch, zip, zero. Opposition politicians criticized the 24-hour visit of Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (C.S.U.) to the U.S.A. on July 12 to discuss N.S.A. spying with the Obama administration, saying Mr. Friedrich let himself be fobbed off with nonexplanations and didn’t realize the seriousness of the issues when he apparently decided to choose government rights over burgher rights. An op-ed in the Süddeutsche Zeitung said democracies can’t have freedom unless individuals in the democracies have freedom and privacy at home, and that this is a time that calls for voices and courage.

(NEWEL new mah.)

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