Monday, August 11, 2014

If NSA strikes him down he will become more powerful than they can possibly imagine

The secure email service Lavabit shut itself down rather than expose its customers to court ordered NSA surveillance.  And so Lavabit's founder decided to build it better, so that it would be impossible for NSA to do it again:
DefCon Lavabit founder Ladar Levison will within six months carve out a military-grade email service from the ashes of Ed Snowden's favourite email client.

As many of you will remember, Levison killed the service to prevent his clients' information from getting into the clutches of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.


Dark Mail has since expanded to include the Magma email server and the Volcano Mozilla Thunderbird desktop client, and has been re-badged as the Dark Internet Mail Environment (DIME).

The platform broke up email headers encrypting each piece before it was sent and was built so that no single service could hold all of the data - a bid to shake off further Lavabit-style requests from government spy agencies.
The NSA has shot itself in the foot.  Not only have many people in the security community refused to cooperate with them anymore, some very smart folks have chosen to actively try to make NSA's life more difficult.

Me, I don't expect that NSA can possibly reform itself, and likely it will double down on its counter productive domestic snooping.  That will keep pouring gasoline on this fire, leading to even less cooperation and even more active monkey wrenching.

Smart guys there at Ft. Meade.


Dave H said...

"Smart guys there at Ft. Meade."

No doubt there are. But they keep getting overruled by the political hacks: "We can't back down now! We'll look like fools!"

newrebeluniv said...

It is bad policy for NSA to work with industry in spying. The obvious result is foreign agents posing as NSA getting better access through patriotic employees at IT companies.

Better, NSA should publicly announce that they do not do such things and therefore anyone who is trying such a thing is a spy. But they won't. Because it is obvious that NSA's real target is no longer foreign intelligence collection.

lelnet said...

The most delicious irony of all is this:

Half of the NSA's mission is to enhance the security of communications against interception, principally through the promulgation of cryptographic technology to government users and other key national assets.

By the stupidly hamfisted actions of the _other_ side of the agency (that is, the surveillance side), the counter-surveillance mission has been rather massively boosted. :)

newrebeluniv said...

Based on their workload, it looks like half their mission is spying on ex Girlfriends.

Comrade Misfit said...

Even the smartest tecchie has a pointy-haired boss. And it is the bosses who set policy.

Ken said...

They'll just partner up with a doorkicker agency, shoot a few dogs, burn down a few duplexes.

It's the "all you need to break strong encryption is 2'of garden hose full of lead shot" plan.

Pour encourager les autres is just a bonus.

NotClauswitz said...

I just want to know what the spy-goods are that they have on Congress and Senators, and the President.