U.S. spy agencies decry latest Snowden revelations

WASHINGTON Fri Sep 6, 2013 6:00pm EDT

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is seen in this still image taken from video during an interview by The Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras/Courtesy of The Guardian/Handout via Reuters

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is seen in this still image taken from video during an interview by The Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong June 6, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras/Courtesy of The Guardian/Handout via Reuters

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. spy agencies said on Friday that the latest media revelations based on leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden will likely damage U.S. and allied intelligence efforts.

On Thursday, the Guardian, the New York Times and journalistic nonprofit ProPublica published stories saying the security agency has secretly developed the ability to crack or circumvent commonplace Internet encryption used to protect everything from email to financial transactions. The stories were based on documents made public by Snowden, now a fugitive living under asylum in Russia.

The reports also said the NSA had worked with Government Communications Headquarters, its British partner, and had used a variety of means, ranging from the insertion of "back doors" in popular tech products and services, to supercomputers, secret court orders and the manipulation of international processes for setting encryption standards.

In a statement on Friday, the Office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, which said it was speaking on behalf of all U.S. spy agencies, did not confirm details of the media reports.

The statement did acknowledge that the U.S. intelligence community "would not be doing its job" if it did not try to counter the use of encryption by such adversaries as "terrorists, cybercriminals, human traffickers and others."

The statement said, however, that the stories published on Thursday revealed "specific and classified details about how we conduct this critical activity." It claimed that anything that the news stories added to public debate about government surveillance was "outweighed by the road map they gave to our adversaries" about specific eavesdropping methods.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Karey Van Hall and Jackie Frank)

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Comments (109)
Bilge wrote:
Of course our spy agencies would want to discredit Snowdon. They have no intention of revealing the illegal way in which they manipulate and intimidate the American people.

We are now living in a police state, and as always, police states are justified by “security”. Read a little history and maybe the light will dawn.

Our country is broken. It is just a matter of time before the crash comes, and then we will get the usual idiots wondering what has happened.

Sep 06, 2013 12:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Whatsgoingon wrote:
“The statement did acknowledge that the U.S. intelligence community ‘would not be doing its job’ if it did not try to counter the use of encryption by such adversaries as ‘terrorists, cybercriminals, human traffickers and others.’” How so? In the old days we didn’t need to open every mail in the post office, why do we need to do it today? Even if we do, in a legal society aren’t we supposed to update the law, as opposed to breaking it secretly?

Sep 06, 2013 12:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
StigTW wrote:
I’m not sure anyone cares for these so called effort, they have over stepped the mark.

Sep 06, 2013 12:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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