Jeff Larson

KeffLarsonProPublicaStandards bodies write up “here’s how encryption works, here’s how you implement it in your software”, and the NSA was actually working against that effort.
Ever since the Snowden revelations were published in 2013, there’s been quite a movement to further encrypt the internet.
I think there’s been an awakening on the part of private companies that it is important to their users to keep their data confidential and secret.
Apple saw these revelations about the overreach of intelligence services and law enforcement services, and created a phone that was harder to crack because they wanted to increase the security of their users. I do believe that.
The Apple case is very hard. I see the arguments on both sides. I see the fact that the FBI wants access to this information, and I also see Apple’s need to protect its customers’ privacy.

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1 Response to Jeff Larson

  1. shinichi says:

    The Snowden Effect

    by Jeff Larson

    Jeff Larson is a reporter at New York investigative newsroom ProPublica. It worked with the Guardian newspaper on the sensitive material leaked by Edward Snowden from the US National Security Agency in 2013.

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    How did governments lose control of encryption?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35659152

    The clash between Apple and the FBI over whether the company should provide access to encrypted data on a locked iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers highlights debates about privacy and data security which have raged for decades.

    Cryptography was once controlled by the state and deployed only for military and diplomatic ends. But in the 1970s, cryptographer Whitfield Diffie devised a system which took encryption keys away from the state and marked the start of the so-called “Crypto Wars”.

    Whitfield Diffie and three other experts spoke to the BBC World Service Inquiry programme about the tensions at the heart of the spat between Apple and the FBI.

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    “I had seen something in the Snowden tranche of documents that made me suspicious that the NSA and GCHQ had been working behind the scenes to crack encryption that powers internet technologies.

    “When you log into your bank or Twitter or Facebook, your web browser talks to those servers over what’s known as TLS, which is an encryption layer that protects the confidentiality of that traffic.

    “The intelligence agencies – not only NSA and GCHQ, but Canada and Australia and New Zealand- had spent 10 years and untold billions of dollars trying to break these fundamental encryption technologies.

    “They honed things, like their power with super computers, but they were also able to mount a programme of inserting back doors into cryptographic software, and – perhaps a bit more troubling – the NSA launched a covert campaign to influence the very standards that programmers rely on to create encryption.

    “So standards bodies write up ‘here’s how encryption works, here’s how you implement it in your software’, and the NSA was actually working against that effort.

    “Ever since [the Snowden revelations were published in] 2013, there’s been quite a movement to further encrypt the internet.

    “I think there’s been an awakening on the part of private companies that it is important to their users to keep [their data] confidential and secret.

    “Apple saw these revelations about the overreach of intelligence services and law enforcement services, and created a phone that was harder to crack because they wanted to increase the security of their users. I do believe that.

    “The Apple case is very hard. I see the arguments on both sides. I see the fact that the FBI wants access to this information, and I also see Apple’s need to protect its customers’ privacy.

    “I hope that we come to a conclusion that is more open and transparent. What I would say is I like that this fight is happening in public so that we can have debates like this.”

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