[Libs-Or] ACTION: Slam internet standards back door on NSA

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 3 18:09:59 PDT 2015


Slam internet standards back door on NSA

Posted by: Adam Eisgrau
<http://www.districtdispatch.org/author/adameisgrau/> June 3, 2015

Last night, immediately post-passage of the landmark USA FREEDOM Act
we celebrated as urged here in the District Dispatch. We also wrote,
“Tomorrow, the fight for further badly needed reforms will go on.” Well,
it’s now “tomorrow” and there is indeed more work that Congress can and
must do as this post goes to press to truly prevent the ongoing wholesale
invasion of our privacy in the name of national security.

The House of Representatives is now considering a large bill (H.R. 2578) to
fund a variety of agencies, including the National Institute of Standards
and Technology. NIST, among many other things, develops technical standards
for the internet and, you guessed it, for internet security – that means
encryption. The NSA, of course, has for some time wanted NIST to
incorporate “back doors” – in effect, deliberately designed secret security
weaknesses – into its encryption standards for use across the web and the
world to make it easier for the NSA to continue to collect our
communications in unfathomable volume.

The NSA wants to do this notwithstanding that more than 150 leading
cybersecurity and encryption experts just warned in a letter to the
that back doors are a horrible idea that will almost certainly lead to
profoundly damaging security breaches at the hands of cyber-criminals and
hostile foreign governments. “Secret” back door algorithms, it seems, have
a way of not staying so secret.

Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY4) will today offer an eight-line amendment
to the appropriations bill before the House that will nail closed the back
door that the NSA wants by forbidding NIST from using any of its
appropriated funds to consult with the NSA or CIA about intentionally
weakening NIST encryption protocols.

*ALA calls on every Member of the House to support the important and,
unfortunately, critically necessary Massie amendment to H.R. 2578.  *


*Diedre Conkling*

*Lincoln County Library DistrictP.O. Box 2027Newport, OR 97365Phone & Fax:
541-265-3066Work email**: **diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*
<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
*Home email: **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>

 “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change
your attitude.”―Maya Angelou
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