The days of thinking your privacy is safeguarded on the Internet are long gone, so don’t ever believe for one moment that you’re protected, because it is only an illusion at this point. According to a report from the New York Times, the US National Security Agency (NSA) — along with UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) — is highly capable of cracking any encryption used on the web to protect sensitive data such as your regular instant messenger messages, emails, medical records, and web searches.
We understand the NSA would force ISPs and other companies to create a backdoor or give up encryption keys to allow the agency to gain access to user sensitive data without a hitch. If that didn’t work, they would use other means such as forcing their way into networks. This is scary stuff; gone are the days when Internet users could feel safe within themselves when watching online porn or people making a fool of themselves on YouTube.
Aside from that, the NSA invested billions into supercomputers that are able to literally crack the encryption codes they couldn’t get via other ways. More specifically, it is said the NSA researched heavily into cracking SSL/HTTPS, VPNs, and encryption used in 4G wireless data connections. There is no indication that NSA has yet found a master key to break all SSL/HTTPS/VPN/4G/etc. connections but rather that they have the capability to crack individual encryption keys/codes as needed.
The ability to crack protected data was a closely guarded NSA secret, which was restricted to employees with high-level access to a program only known as Bullrun. Over the many years of the past, users of the Internet believed their data was safeguarded by their ISP, however, as you have come to find out, this is not the case and the NSA wanted to keep you from figuring this out.
It worked for a while, but as the saying goes, “what’s in the dark will come to light.” Furthermore, the NSA wasn’t just using its toys to against the enemy as American citizens and other folks across the world have found themselves under the radar for reasons unknown.
The National Surveillance Agency’s ability to crack sensitive information comes as no surprise, as according to recent reports, $11 billion was recently spent on bolstering the ability to spy on encrypted messages from priority targets around the globe. This was part of a $52 billion black budget the government used to fund its surveillance capability, among other things.
At the moment, a future without privacy is looking ever so likely. I guess the time has come to form the resistance — or maybe not since the resistance would probably not have Internet so we can stare seductively at Jenna Jameson.
Hit up the New York Times via link below to read the full, in-depth story.