New Snowden documents say NSA can break common Internet encryption
SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - The United States (US) National Security Agency (NSA) has secretly developed the ability to crack or circumvent commonplace Internet encryption used to protect everything from email to financial transactions, according to media reports citing documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The Guardian, The New York Times and journalistic nonprofit ProPublica reported on Thursday that the US intelligence agency used a variety of means, ranging from the insertion of "back doors" in popular tech products and services, to supercomputers, secret court orders and the manipulation of international processes for setting encryption standards.
The publications said the NSA and its British partner Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) reported making strides against Secure Sockets Layer technology, which protects millions of websites beginning in "Https," and virtual private networks, which are common for remote office workers and for people seeking to obscure their locations.
Privacy advocates have succeeded in convincing Google Inc , Facebook Inc and other popular service providers to turn on SSL for all of their users, but the new disclosures suggest that the effort could be futile against the NSA.