Well this is extremely disappointing, but nothing should surprise us at this point I suppose. According to this Reuters article, the federal government paid an encryption company (whose customers trusted it to maintain their privacy and security) to put a “back door” into its products.
Last week I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act because, among other things, it re-authorized the NSA to continue unconstitutional pay-offs like this. Here’s a link to the roll call for the NDAA vote last week. (Nay = the constitutional vote) Kudos to Justin Amash for requesting a recorded vote, otherwise the NDAA would have passed by anonymous voice vote. The NDAA was brought up under a suspension of the House rules, so we were not able to offer amendments.
(Reuters) – As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million contract with RSA, one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry, Reuters has learned.
Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that the NSA created and promulgated a flawed formula for generating random numbers to create a “back door” in encryption products, the New York Times reported in September. Reuters later reported that RSA became the most important distributor of that formula by rolling it into a software tool called Bsafe that is used to enhance security in personal computers and many other products.
Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract. Although that sum might seem paltry, it represented more than a third of the revenue that the relevant division at RSA had taken in during the entire previous year, securities filings show. (Continue Reading)
FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 645: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll645.xml
Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/20/us-usa-security-rsa-idUSBRE9BJ1C220131220