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IU expert: NSA's anti-encryption efforts compromise US security

NSA's efforts to overcome encryption undermine cyberinfrastructure

US National Security Agency efforts to overcome encryption of online data weaken American security, undermine the government's duty to protect its own cyberinfrastructure, and suggest intelligence agencies may not be cooperating at nearly the levels they promised to in a post-9/11 world, says IU legal and cybersecurity expert Fred Cate, director of IU's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research.

Secret documents provided by Edward Snowden and disclosed by The New York Times confirm that the NSA -- through a top-secret program code-named Bullrun -- has not merely cracked most encryption, but also compelled system operators and equipment manufacturers to install backdoors to facilitate surveillance; broken into corporate networks; and even introduced compromised encryption tools into the market so it could later exploit those vulnerabilities.

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