Government Wants Passwords Reports CNET

26 Jul

 

In Imageyet another blow to privacy, CNET reports that the government has been pressuring major internet companies to provide “encryption keys.”  CNET quoted sources who spoke on condition of anonymity including service providers and government employees.  

“The government is definitely demanding SSL keys from providers,” said one person who has responded to government attempts to obtain encryption keys. The source spoke with CNET on condition of anonymity.

The person said that large Internet companies have resisted the requests on the grounds that they go beyond what the law permits, but voiced concern that smaller companies without well-staffed legal departments might be less willing to put up a fight. “I believe the government is beating up on the little guys,” the person said. “The government’s view is that anything we can think of, we can compel you to do.”

As reported by The Northwest Indiana Gazette yesterday, a proposed amendment to the 2014 defense budget would have curtailed funding for NSA collection of user data except in cases of an actual investigation.  Intelligence officials have not disclosed exactly what information they collect, but it is widely assumed that the NSA collects every email, metadata from phone calls which include location, time and caller, every text message and much more.  Proponents of the programs claim that there are safeguards in place to protect the use of the data and dispute some issues regarding collection.  No one disputes that there is in place a program to collect massive amounts of information regarding US Citizens who are not suspected of any crime.  It remains to be seen whether the defeat of the so called Amash Amendment yesterday will embolden intelligence officials.

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