End-to-end encryption and government snooping


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The recent WikiLeaks dump of CIA hacking tools suggests end to end encryption poses a challenge for mass surveillance efforts.

The Associated Press:

In the past, spy agencies like the CIA could have hacked servers at WhatsApp or similar services to see what people were saying. End-to-end encryption, though, makes that prohibitively difficult. So the CIA has to resort to tapping individual phones and intercepting data before it is encrypted or after it's decoded.

It's much like the old days when "they would have broken into a house to plant a microphone," said Steven Bellovin, a Columbia University professor who has long studied cybersecurity issues.

Cindy Cohn, executive director for Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group focused on online privacy, likened the CIA's approach to "fishing with a line and pole rather than fishing with a driftnet."