Did NSA Pay Security Firm $10M To Weaken Encryption?

Unlike some whistleblowers, Edward Snowden has decided to stagger the release of his NSA (National Security Agency) documents to ensure that Americans fully understand what the U.S. spy agency is doing. In September, Snowden revealed that the NSA had worked with security firm RSA in order to weaken the firm's encryption standards. Now, a new report shows that the NSA may have paid off RSA to do this.

Sources close to the matter have come out recently stating the RSA received $10 million from the NSA as part of a U.S. campaign to weaken encryption standards. In September, documents revealed that RSA was actually using the NSA's own algorithms in some of its services and by doing this, the firm guaranteed that the NSA would not have any trouble breaking through the encryption.

The Denial

Even though the Snowden documents and these most recent reports seem convincing, RSA has already jumped out into the media to deny any sort of secret deal with the NSA. "We have worked with the NSA, both as a vendor and an active member of the security community. We have never kept this relationship a secret and in fact have openly publicized it. Our explicit goal has always been to strengthen commercial and government security," RSA said in response to these reports.

If RSA did receive the $10 million from the NSA, the firm would have been operating in a way that is completely different from the way that it operated in the 1990s. Nearly two decades ago, RSA actually led a fight against the NSA, which was trying to implement a system to allow the agency to decrypt phone conversations with ease.

Although it may have been pro-privacy in the 1990s, these reports suggest that once the early 2000s came along, a lot changed within the company. The...

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