Feeds

US intelligence: Snowden's latest leaks 'road map' for adversaries

'We're only doing our job,' tumbls spy agency

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has issued a response to the latest revelations from Edward Snowden with a warning that the information is "not news," but has nevertheless harmed the agency's ability to keep America and its allies safe.

On Thursday ProPublica, The New York Times, and The Guardian released the latest dossier of information from Snowden, detailing how the NSA and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have placed backdoors in popular encryption standards and can exploit holes in SSL and an increasing number of VPN systems.

One project, codenamed "Bullrun", involved working with commercial software vendors to allow direct access to unencrypted communications. In addition, the agencies also have the ability to tap submarine data cables. But this should all be expected, the ODNI argues.

"Throughout history, nations have used encryption to protect their secrets, and today, terrorists, cybercriminals, human traffickers and others also use code to hide their activities," the agency said on its recently launched Tumblr page. "Our intelligence community would not be doing its job if we did not try to counter that."

While not confirming or denying any of the specific claims made in the latest information release, the ODNI said that the NSA says on its website that the agency looks to be the best at decrypting information in order to give the US and its allies a "decision advantage".

Nevertheless, the ODNI decried the leaks by Snowden. "The stories published yesterday, however, reveal specific and classified details about how we conduct this critical intelligence activity," it said.

"Anything that yesterday's disclosures add to the ongoing public debate is outweighed by the road map they give to our adversaries about the specific techniques we are using to try to intercept their communications in our attempts to keep America and our allies safe and to provide our leaders with the information they need to make difficult and critical national security decisions." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.