According to disclosures by former contractor Edward Snowden, the US National Security Agency has pursued various routes to access tech equipment, sometimes via commercial deals inducing companies to insert back-door encryption, and in other cases by ‘manipulating standards’ so firms unknowingly adopt software the agency experts can break.
The US National Security Agency is reportedly stonewalling attempts by a leading Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate whether it is continuing the controversial practice of installing “back doors” into commercial technology products, reports Reuters.
The back-door encryption has been touted by the NSA as a means of scanning large amounts of traffic without the hassle of a warrant and, accordingly, making it easier to gather vital intelligence, including interception of terrorist communications.
Critics have slammed the practice that was revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as damaging both US industry and national security.
In the wake of the revelations, the agency reportedly developed new rules for its practices to dodge exposure and compromise, according to three former senior intelligence agency staff members, cited by Reuters.
They claim that the NSA now requires potential fall-out assessment before seeking a back-door, besides ensuring that a warning is issued if the back-door is discovered by adversaries.
However, aides to Senator Ron Wyden claim the NSA has fended…