Friday, September 6, 2013

Stymied by Advanced Encryption Protocols, NSA Asks Public for Help

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Beginning in 2000, after recognizing the pivotal role the Internet would play in the lives of every individual, the National Security Agency (NSA) began investing billions of dollars into a clandestine initiative to extend its domestic surveillance programs across the World Wide Web. The decision to embark on a covert campaign came at the close of the 1990s, when the NSA failed to garner public support for introducing a backdoor system into all encryption protocols that would guarantee the agency access to any files it deemed necessary. As revealed in documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA has since run a highly effective effort to view the private records of all Americans through a complex process of hacking, supercomputer implementation, secretive court orders and strong-arming telecommunications providers. But Snowden's published files also show that the NSA remains stymied by some advanced encryption, hindering its efforts to protect vital American interests through eavesdropping. That's why the agency is appealing to the public for help in carrying forward its national security endeavors.

"We are investing in groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit Internet traffic,” James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, wrote in his 2013 budget.

"But these ongoing efforts are becoming more expensive. We must remain mindful of the economic recovery," he went on to note. "With the war against Syria ramping up, funds for domestic spying are going to shrink as military coffers expand. But at the same time, wiretapping Americans who may have connections to Syrians becomes even more critical."

Clapper pointed out that programs such as PRISM have accomplished much, with demonstrated successes. Those successes have been communicated to the proper officials through the proper channels.

"The American taxpayers bankroll these programs. And because they do, it's clear they want us involved in their daily activities to ensure the safest environment possible," Clapper said. "That's why we're counting on the public to help us expedite and streamline the information collection process, which will dramatically reduce operating costs."

Although the NSA frequently bypasses encryption altogether by seizing data in transit, either before being encrypted or after being decrypted, breaking complicated algorithms and "properly implemented strong crypto systems" endures as a source of frustration for the agency, according to Snowden.

Based on statements released at a closed-door White House press briefing Friday, the NSA will soon distribute appeals for cooperation to every U.S. household.

"Clapper said the NSA's requests will be simple and forthcoming," one insider revealed. "The agency is merely asking citizens to help overcome these obstacles by CC'ing the NSA on every email they send, using the newly created address, and where possible, conferencing the NSA in on phone calls. Clapper confirmed that officials are still working on setting up numbers with Verizon for these purposes, but we've been assured the lines will be toll-free within the contiguous United States, excluding California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Boston and a handful of other states."

Sources say the notices should begin going out on Patriot Day, September 11.

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