RT: NSA spying ‘weakens US security’, Encryption

A cryptographer at Johns Hopkins University, Professor Mathew Green, had his blog about NSA spying techniques taken down by the university a short while ago.

RT: Professor, before we talk about what happened to your blog, your brief reaction to this revelation of data-sharing with Israel. What do you think Americans will make of the fact that information about them is going to Israel?

Mathew Green: I think what we’re learning is that no matter what we think about the story, we cannot get a fix on it, and the story keeps changing. This is probably the most upsetting part: we don’t know who our data is being shared, and who is spying on whom at this point.

RT: You are a cryptographer, what exactly do you do and what was it about your post that prompted Johns Hopkins University to react? What did you write?

MG: I wrote a post about these new revelations that came out last week about the NSA breaking encryption, breaking cryptography. That’s my research area, so one of the things I do is write a blog for technical people, but also for journalists and people who are not cryptographers themselves. I try to explain these complicated terms and try to explain what it all means.

So I tried to take a pass at this story and explain what it meant that the NSA was breaking this technology, and I put it on a blog post that a lot of people read.

MG: I think what we learnt is that the NSA has a hard time breaking encryptions, so what they’ve done is they actually tried to take the products that perform encryptions and make them worse, make it weaker so it is easier for them to break that encryption.

MG: What we learnt is that the NSA is willing to make the US security a little bit weaker. Because remember, it is not just non-US citizens using these products, it’s Americans, too.



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