ZDNetGovWeek: NSA sees through encryption, let's all act surprised

It's been another week in the shadowy world of government intrigue and there's yet another Guardian-fueled NSA uproar, this time over encryption. ZDNet's Tom Foremski says it best: it's a secret society that can't keep a secret.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

ZDNet's worldwide team provides global 24/7 technology news and analysis. In addition to my own coverage analysis here in the ZDNet Government column and on ZDNet's DIY-IT, every week I'll bring you a selection of the best government-related articles posted by our intrepid reporters and analysts. Here are some of the most interesting from the last week.

Top stories this week

Has the NSA broken SSL? TLS? AES?
Indications suggest that SSL and other fundamental Internet security technologies have indeed been compromised by the NSA.

UK, US able to crack most encryption used online
By weakening encryption standards, inserting vulnerabilities into vendors' technology, and using supercomputer-backed password crackers, the US and the UK are able to break encryption used to back technologies like SSH, HTTPS, and VPNs.

The secret society that can't keep a secret
The more we try to keep secrets in the dark the more they come into the light... Technology won't help.

If you think the NSA is bad, try the Putin-controlled Chrome toolbar
I am not making this up. You can't make this stuff up. This is what the world is coming to.

New claims NSA can access data on iOS, Android, BlackBerry
US spy agency the NSA boasted internally of being able to unlock encrypted data on smartphones by leading manufacturers, a German news magazine has reported.

Yahoo publishes first transparency report; U.S. made most requests
Yahoo's latest move in clearing its name in the wake of the NSA scandal is the publishing of its first transparency report.

In light of the NSA, how to think about encryption
The back door policy the NSA is reportedly encouraging may provide a short-term tactical advantage, but it may prove to cause us all problems in the long-term.

Has the NSA broken our encryption?
Reports of new Edward Snowden leaks of NSA documents claim that "the agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption" on which we rely on the Internet. Are we defenseless now?

Microsoft, Google v. NSA lawsuit to proceed
The negotiations have failed, the government requests for delays are over, and the parties are proceeding to litigation.

Syrian Electronic Army placed on FBI wanted list
The Syrian Electronic Army's hacking campaigns have raised the ire of the FBI.

Other government coverage around ZDNet

A new, secure and free Internet… Dream on
Bruce Schneier thinks we (engineers) should re-engineer the Internet to make it harder for governments to conduct surveillance. This is just silly. If we aren't willing to re-engineer it to stop criminals we sure won't do so to stop governments.

Turnbull caught by surprise on internet filtering policy
Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was forced to defend an opt-out internet filtering policy he'd only heard about minutes before going on radio.

Coalition backflips on internet filtering policy
In a massive backflip, the Coalition has claimed it was 'poor wording' in a policy for opt-out internet filtering, despite Liberal MP Paul Fletcher defending it to ZDNet.

Coalition confirms: Internet filtering by default
The Coalition MP put in charge of policy around child safety online, Paul Fletcher, has confirmed that filtering of adult content from fixed-line internet services and mobile internet will be turned on by default unless a user opts out of it.

Australian opposition vows to implement internet filter by default
The Coalition will require ISPs and mobile telcos to filter internet services by default unless a user opts out of it.

Coalition to cut IT research centre NICTA's funding
National ICT Australia's future is in doubt, after the Coalition today announced that it would cut AU$42 million in funding for the IT research organisation under savings measures released today.

Brazilian postal service talks about "anti-snooping" email system
The organisation discusses the drivers behind the project, aimed at fending off security risks

Aussie businesses out of time for privacy reform changes: Symantec
Upcoming changes to Australia's Privacy Act have a number of contentious points, but businesses are out of time to say they simply didn't know.

Time to tackle tech's price gougers in New Zealand
Australia has looked at the issue of overcharging from tech vendors, and so should New Zealand.

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