The NSA Can Decrypt More Stuff Than You Think

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The Guardian and the New York Times have blockbuster stories today about the NSA’s surprising success in cracking encryption standards that until now everyone has considered safe. More about this later. But here’s a single tidbit from the Times story:

In one case, after the government learned that a foreign intelligence target had ordered new computer hardware, the American manufacturer agreed to insert a back door into the product before it was shipped, someone familiar with the request told The Times.

I guess the lesson here is not to buy network equipment from US companies. I don’t imagine that US purveyors of network equipment are very happy about this revelation.

Awkward question: Was this story timed to coincide with the G20 meeting in Russia?

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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