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NSA Attacks on VPN, SSL, TLS, SSH, Tor

On Tue, 30 Dec 2014 14:16:21 -0800, Jason Richards <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> OK, I'll bite: why? What benefit does the US govt get from the  
>>> information leaked by Snowden?

The way this question is worded frames the debate to an extent. To me,  
using the phrase 'the US Govt' implies a monolithic entity with coherent  

It does not leave room for explanations involving fedgov internecine  
info-warfare for example.

> So the US government seems to have said "we do things you don't want us
> to, but if you use proven, open source crypto you're reasonably
> secure." The only benefit I can see would be if they could break that
> crypto and wanted people to have a false sense of security by using
> that easily broken crypto.
> My tinfoil hat isn't that thick. I don't buy it. So what are the other
> benefits?

Just throwing some ideas out:

* Terrorize disenfranchised members of the population into the cyber-fetal  
position. Self-censor accordingly and don't get too uppity, submitizen!

* Make it clear for any potential rivals to deep state power who 'didn't  
get the memo' that their every move is being watched, cataloged, recorded  
and stored in perpetuity.

* Frame the debate. Never ask the fundamental question of whether the  
surveillance state should exist or not. Keep the discussion focused on  
'how much' surveillance.

* Throw up a fog of dis-information consisting of yesterdays obsolete  
capabilities, which by themselves are enough to stun even the tinfoil hat  
brigade. Mobilize interesting targets into adopting defenses against the  
obsolete attacks, until they think they are safe and can let their hair  
down again. Immediately begin harvesting juicy new intel via unrevealed  
nextgen attacks.

* Inflict political pain on rival agencies and political enemies

Anyone else?

Let the paranoia flow...