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Posts tagged “Government

Gotta Love It: Government Can’t Decrypt Tor Browser That It Created

Courtesy Wayne Rash, eWeek

There’s a saying about the left hand not knowing what the right had is doing. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the federal government’s dysfunctional relationship with the Tor browser and the onion router. By now, you’re heard that the National Security Agency is having a tough time unraveling Tor. This bundle of software based on the Firefox browser enables a process in which Internet traffic is routed among a series of routers, each of which adds a layer of encryption and anonymity as it happens. The Tor browser is freely available to anyone who wants to use it, including dissidents in nations with oppressive governments and even child abusers. The problem with Tor from the NSA’s viewpoint is that it works too well. Actually nailing down who’s using it, decrypting what they’re doing, and doing all of that in a timely fashion is driving the NSA crazy. So, naturally, you have to ask yourself what band of privacy advocates dreamed up this nearly uncrackable communications pathway? The answer may surprise you. Tor is the brainchild of the U.S. government. In fact, Tor was invented with the support of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, located near Washington, D.C., in suburban Maryland, just inside the Beltway. And yes, this is pretty close to the NSA, which is also located in suburban Maryland, although it’s outside the Beltway. –

Read More…http://www.eweek.com/security/tor-puts-nsa-at-odds-with-browsers-us-navy-creators-other-agencies.html?google_editors_picks=true#sthash.PriGvdAb.dpuf

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Somebodies Watching Me…Hello, F.B.I?

Excerpts from Googles Transparency Report

The table below provides a range of how many National Security Letters (NSLs) we’ve received and a range of how many users/accounts were specified each year since 2009. For more information about NSLs, please refer to our FAQ. These ranges are not included in the total sum of user data requests that we report biannually.

Year National Security Letters Users/Accounts
2009 0–999 1000–1999
2010 0–999 2000–2999
2011 0–999 1000–1999
2012 0–999 1000–1999

Government requests for user data from the United States include those issued by U.S. authorities for U.S. investigations as well as requests made on behalf of other governments pursuant to mutual legal assistance treaties and other diplomatic mechanisms. For more information, please refer to our FAQ about legal process.

Reporting Period
User Data Requests  Users/Accounts  Percentage of requests where some data produced
July to December 2012
8,438
14,791
88%
Search Warrant 
1,896
3,152
88%
Subpoena 
5,784
10,390
88%
Other 
758
1,249
90%
January to June 2012
7,969
16,281
90%
July to December 2011
6,321
12,243
93%
January to June 2011
5,950
11,057
93%
July to December 2010
4,601
94%
January to June 2010
4,287
July to December 2009
3,580