Thursday, July 25, 2013

Welcome to America–How May We Spy on You?

It has truly become disturbing that “We the People,” the citizens of America are not demanding that unwarranted searches and privacy violations, must be stopped immediately.    The Federal Governments actions to inventory the private citizen’s of this Country is an appalling fact that this nation will regret and our children, or grandchildren and ever-after they will ask us; “Why did everyone do nothing to stop this?”  Of course, since they’ve never truly experienced the type of freedom I had in my youth, they’ll never know what was stolen from them.

If we do not protect all of your civil rights, we will soon have no civil rights.  Come on America, wake-up and tell your Senators and Congress to stop this madness.

YiT – Shelly

Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords

Secret demands mark escalation in Internet surveillance by the federal government through gaining access to user passwords, which are typically stored in encrypted form.

Declan McCullagh by Declan McCullagh / July 25, 2013 11:26 AM PDT

(Credit: Photo illustration by James Martin/CNET)

The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users' stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.

If the government is able to determine a person's password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.

"I've certainly seen them ask for passwords," said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We push back."

A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies "really heavily scrutinize" these requests, the person said. "There's a lot of 'over my dead body.'"

Some of the government orders demand not only a user's password but also the encryption algorithm and the so-called salt, according to a person familiar with the requests. A salt is a random string of letters or numbers used to make it more difficult to reverse the encryption process and determine the original password. Other orders demand the secret question codes often associated with user accounts.

"This is one of those unanswered legal questions: Is there any circumstance under which they could get password information?"
--Jennifer Granick, Stanford University

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