That? You think that encryption is going to keep your instant messages hidden? Or your bank accounts secure? Your encryption is the coarse-brown-paper-towels-in-an-amusement-park-restroom of encryptions. It's the $3 bodega umbrella of encryptions. Your encryption is shit. Your encryption is sub-shit. Your encryption is the wind your mouth makes a nanosecond before saying the word "shit" then realizing it's not worth the syllables. Your encryption is a hummingbird burp. Your encryption and thus your privacy has been totally compromised because the NSA has spent years and billions of dollars making sure it's worthless.
According to an analysis of 50,000 documents produced by The Snowden Trove, after the NSA failed to gain Congressional approval for installing its own "backdoor" into encryption software in the late '90s, the NSA just did it anyway. Who was going to stop them?
From the Times/Guardian/ProPublica:
For the past decade, N.S.A. has led an aggressive, multipronged effort to break widely used Internet encryption technologies,” said a 2010 memo describing a briefing about N.S.A. accomplishments for employees of its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. “Cryptanalytic capabilities are now coming online. Vast amounts of encrypted Internet data which have up till now been discarded are now exploitable.”
When the British analysts, who often work side by side with N.S.A. officers, were first told about the program, another memo said, “those not already briefed were gobsmacked!”
Gobsmacked! This is even worse than we suspected. And it's still happening.
“We are investing in groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit Internet traffic,” the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., wrote in his budget request for the current year.
If all this sounds like white noise, ProPublica has a fine primer on what's unique about this story. You know, ha ha, because it's like every other day now that we find out our government has gone to new lengths to spy on its citizens.