Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Does using encryption make you a bigger target for the NSA?

Soon after the Guardian released the first of many whistleblower documents, describing NSA domestic spying activities in the United States, readers began asking, “Because of all the snooping, should I start encrypting my email?” The answer seemed simple….
Answering the question of whether to encrypt or not became significantly less simple a few weeks later when the Guardian released Minimization Procedures Used by the National Security Agency, a document gleaned from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by Edward Snowden. Section Five of the paper is of particular interest (courtesy of the Guardian).
Section Five’s ensuing paragraphs discuss what “that” is. Subsection One and Subsection Two lay out what content (foreign intelligence and criminal evidence) will flag domestic communications for retention and investigation by government agencies. Subsection Three, nicknamed the “encryption exception” is the real attention-grabber (courtesy of the Guardian).

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