Text: Small Text  Normal Text  Large Text  Larger Text
  • Blog

Blog Archive

SMTWTFS
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930
Michael Geist's Blog

Canada Facilitated NSA's Effort To Weaken Encryption Standards

The NY Times reports that Canada played a notable role in assisting the NSA to weaken encryption standards. The Times reports:

internal memos leaked by a former N.S.A. contractor, Edward Snowden, suggest that the N.S.A. generated one of the random number generators used in a 2006 N.I.S.T. standard - called the Dual EC DRBG standard - which contains a back door for the N.S.A. In publishing the standard, N.I.S.T. acknowledged “contributions” from N.S.A., but not primary authorship.

Internal N.S.A. memos describe how the agency subsequently worked behind the scenes to push the same standard on the International Organization for Standardization. “The road to developing this standard was smooth once the journey began,” one memo noted. “However, beginning the journey was a challenge in finesse.”

At the time, Canada’s Communications Security Establishment ran the standards process for the international organization, but classified documents describe how ultimately the N.S.A. seized control. “After some behind-the-scenes finessing with the head of the Canadian national delegation and with C.S.E., the stage was set for N.S.A. to submit a rewrite of the draft,” the memo notes. “Eventually, N.S.A. became the sole editor.”
Tags:
Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
 

A Festivus Miracle: Industry Minister James Moore Hosts Roundtable on Anti-Spam Law

For the past two years, I have been describing the government's long-missing digital economy strategy as the Penske File, a Seinfeld reference to a non-existent work project. The government's Seinfeldian approach to digital policies continued yesterday, with Industry Minister James Moore hosting a Festivus-like event on Canada's anti-spam legislation. The anti-spam law was passed in 2010, but intense lobbying has delayed approval of the final regulations that are needed to bring the law into effect.

The by-invitation roundtable featured most of the business associations that have criticized the legislation along with several consumer/public interest representatives. Consistent with the Seinfeld episode on Festivus, the 90-minute event opened with the airing of grievances, providing the critics with an opportunity to deliver their concerns directly to the Minister. The consumer and public interest representatives spoke in favour of the legislation and of the need for the government to move quickly to finalize the regulations. While the government's plans remain to be seen, Moore is clearly engaged on the issue and, given that the law was passed years ago, will hopefully demonstrate a feat of strength by bringing it into effect.

A draft of my comments (which were changed slightly in delivery) are posted below.


Tags:
Share: Slashdot, Digg, Del.icio.us, Newsfeeder, Reddit, StumbleUpon, TwitterTagsShare
View