NYT: NSA has hacked and broken almost all encryption codes.
The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents.
The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show.
Many users assume — or have been assured by Internet companies — that their data is safe from prying eyes, including those of the government, and the N.S.A. wants to keep it that way. The agency treats its recent successes in deciphering protected information as among its most closely guarded secrets, restricted to those cleared for a highly classified program code-named Bullrun, according to the documents, provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.
Beginning in 2000, as encryption tools were gradually blanketing the Web, the N.S.A. invested billions of dollars in a clandestine campaign to preserve its ability to eavesdrop. Having lost a public battle in the 1990s to insert its own “back door” in all encryption, it set out to accomplish the same goal by stealth.
The agency, according to the documents and interviews with industry officials, deployed custom-built, superfast computers to break codes, and began collaborating with technology companies in the United States and abroad to build entry points into their products. The documents do not identify which companies have participated.
The N.S.A. hacked into target computers to snare messages before they were encrypted. In some cases, companies say they were coerced by the government into handing over their master encryption keys or building in a back door. And the agency used its influence as the world’s most experienced code maker to covertly introduce weaknesses into the encryption standards followed by hardware and software developers around the world.
Limited list today, presumably because of the Jewish holiday, and that, in turn, pushes many new listings to wait until next week, when schedules return to normal, before being entered into the Greenwich MLS.
16 Dingletown Road
One I won’t have to see because I’ve seen it before is 16 Dingletown Road. I’ve always liked this house; 10,000 sq. ft., removed from Dingletown itself, on a nice yard, but when it first showed up new in 2008 its builders listed it for $8.995 million, a price that caused me to predict it would take a long time to sell. That prediction was borne out, and it didn’t sell until the close of 2011, for “just” $5.6 million. The buyers put it back up for sale last May for $6.150 and are holding another broker open house today, inviting us to see it with it’s new “huge price reduction” price, which, after two previous cuts, is now $5.5 million. Even allowing for the excesses of Realtorese, is “huge” an apt adjective? A net reduction of $100,000 from its 2012 purchase price may be painful to the owners, but it doesn’t exactly scream “Fire sale! This one won’t last!” , to me.
Only fair to read it, certainly. My objections: I’m sorry to see Brian Peldunas get involved with the RTC’s infighting and suppression of dissent; I’m even sorrier to see him join the RTC and its flunkies on the school board ignore the question of the constitutionality of the state’s raced balance mandate. While I do think Paldunas has the better of the argument on the exemption loophole for “unique schools” – I think it’s weak -he and his cohorts seem determined to ignore the real issue: is the law itself illegal? I say it is, the BOE says it isn’t, but where is the legal opinion they ordered June 23rd to research the issue and give n opinion?
To the Editor
Given the issues facing our public schools, we need a Board of Education that can work collaboratively. However, threatening a return to the in-fighting seen several years ago, two members introduced a “proposal to save neighborhood schools” via an article (Greenwich Post, Aug. 29) without sharing it with colleagues first.
The two members would have you believe that neighborhood schools in Greenwich are under “threat” of attack. That’s far from the truth. The board, listening to the community, is doing all it can to protect neighborhood schools. They’ve embraced choice and rejected major redistricting and forced busing. We support this and believe the focus needs to be on achievement of students at all schools.
The “proposal” is an amalgamation of existing programs and ideas. That would have been clear to the two members if they’d worked cooperatively with colleagues and attended the many public forums on this matter. Instead, the result of putting this “proposal” forward was to disrupt a public process that has been playing out over the last several months. One of the other board members called the “proposal” misguided.
Relying on parent volunteer lawyers, the two members claim there’s a loophole that will exempt compliance with the state racial balance law by calling New Lebanon and Hamilton Avenue “unique” schools. Interestingly, one of the authors previously indicated the board needed to consult a “highly experienced constitutional lawyer.” The state has already indicated that the schools don’t qualify for “unique” status. The authors would have realized they could not simply ignore the statute had they done some basic due diligence and asked the State Department of Education a few basic questions.
Also, while any board member could have called for a vote to ask the state to render a formal opinion, the two proponents remained silent. An opinion from the state would allow Greenwich to decide whether to continue moving forward or mount a challenge.
We need to move beyond posturing. It’s time for the board to work cooperatively to reach conclusions about advancing student achievement, eliminating capacity constraints and dealing with the racial balance law.
Wal Mart Job applicants Georgia, Dec. 21, 2011
Labor union trying to stage walk-out of Wal-Mart employees today.
Walmart associates in 15 cities will walk off the job Thursday in the latest in a series of actions against the nonunion retail giant organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers union through the activist group it backs, OUR Walmart.
The group claimed that “thousands” would walk out.
According to the news release, walkouts are planned by employees at stores in Baton Rogue, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Orlando, Sacramento, Seattle and San Francisco.
Washington, D.C., was included by the group in its announcement but there are currently no Walmart stores located in the nation’s capital. [Because that city, with one of the highest unskilled labor unemployment rates in the nation, bans them – Ed]
A planned post-Thanksgiving action largely fizzled due to poor turnout. Many of the protesters at the events were not actually Walmart employees and in some cases were bussed in from outside. But UFCW and other unions have kept at it hoping to build legitimate grassroots support.
They told me this vote was coming up and …well, you can SEE what I did to my pants
Senator Ed Markey (D. MA) votes “present” on Syrian war resolution.