[cryptome] Re: The rewards of frenzied comsec-shopping should be a pardon for Snowden

  • From: douglas rankine <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2016 21:05:22 +0000

With it being election time in the US of A, and with the incumbent POTUS not being keen on introducing legislation on encryption into Congress and Congress not being keen in legislating in areas which might finish up being a fuck up in certain respects, then the FBI is left with no other recourse than to judge-made law, and by that, an extension of the All Writs Act to cover the present circumstance of Farooks Iphone. However, the FBI, from what I understand of US law is under an obligation to consult other departments regarding advice and help to gaining access to Farooks phone. The huge resources, the skills, the money, the technical facilities which the NSA has, should be available to the FBI. After all, what was all this sharing and decompartmentalisation all about after 9/11, but to help with joined up thinking and the exchange of information between the various departments of state, so that terrorism could be, if not overcome, miniimsed. Obviously, and not unsurprisingly if the NSA has access to the information and content of Farooks phone via various software which it has invented, filched or otherwise garnered, then it doesn't want the rest of the world to know about it. However, if its job is to protect the security of the American people and the US state, and this is, after all a terrorism based case, then it should be fully co-operating with the FBI to overcome the problem of encryption. It can hardly argue that it is fighting terrorism and protecting the people of the US by withholding such knowledge. After all, wasn't that what it was created for, and doesn't is say so somewhere in the National Security Act? And, if it did have access to such content, then it would save the FBI and the people of the US a lot of embarrassment internationally and at home, because this case would never have needed to come to court. As I look at it further, it looks more of a fishing expedition by law enforcement and a diversionary tactic on behalf of certain groupings within the US security establishment.

There is another question of course, and that is, has the FBI consulted other state agencies who specialise in this sort of thing, and if so, has it had a reply which says that no help is available. Would such information be available under the Freedom of Information Act for instance. I have yet to see a statement from the FBI which confirms such a position. I havent' seen the question raised in the mass media either, though I have seen the reference you speak of in the NYT. Perhaps the question will get raised in the court on the 22nd?

On 06/03/2016 15:28, John Young wrote:

NY Times surmises NSA does not want to reveal its crypto
cracking capabilities, that the FBI hopes unskilled users will
make exploitable mistakes implementing, that DoD hopes
to exploit holes, doubt and errors rather than see them
corrected, that hackers and corporations expect to continue
to sell 0-days for high prices, that Obama staff has mixed
views of weak and strong comsec, that the US hacks both
friends and foes, engages in cyber defense and offense,
all this feeding opportunistic and obliging media fanning flames
with anonymous sources, secret briefings, revolving door
job offers of op-eds, essays, speeches, testimonies and
spy-approved tattle-tales. Essential to crypto fire-storm is
fueling a fire-sale Snowden 0-day attribution. The rewards
of this frenzied comsec-shopping should be a pardon for
Snowden, along with a life-time free travel in search of
anywhere crypto is not needed, just his word comms
are good to go naked.

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