ACLU Comment on NSA Effort to Defeat Encryption Worldwide

September 5, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – In an effort to defeat encrypted communications worldwide, the National Security Agency has manipulated U.S. and global encryption standards; utilized supercomputers to break open encrypted communications and data; and has persuaded, and sometimes forced, technology and Internet service providers to give it access to protected data, according to reports published today in The Guardian and The New York Times in partnership with ProPublica.

"The encryption technologies that the NSA has exploited to enable its secret dragnet surveillance are the same technologies that protect our most sensitive information, including medical records, financial transactions, and commercial secrets," said Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project."Even as the NSA demands more powers to invade our privacy in the name of cybersecurity, it is making the internet less secure and exposing us to criminal hacking, foreign espionage, and unlawful surveillance. The NSA's efforts to secretly defeat encryption are recklessly shortsighted and will further erode not only the United States' reputation as a global champion of civil liberties and privacy but the economic competitiveness of its largest companies."

For more information on the ACLU's work on NSA surveillance: aclu.org/time-rein-surveillance-state-0

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