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Ear to the Ground

Twitter Toughens Encryption in Cat and Mouse Game With NSA

Posted on Nov 22, 2013
PiXXart / Shutterstock.com

The microblogging site has added a tougher encryption protocol previously implemented by Google and Facebook to help combat NSA spying.

According to Twitter, “forward secrecy” should stop “an adversary” (such as the National Security Agency) that is recording traffic from later decrypting that data, even if said adversary manages to steal Twitter’s private encryption keys.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt recently said in an interview, “The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.” Although he acknowledged that “It’s always a cat-and-mouse game.”

One of the trade-offs of encryption is that it slows down traffic, and that seems to be the case with Twitter’s new protocol. Such is the cost of privacy. Users who want to navigate the Web with something approaching true privacy can use TOR, for example, but it’s quite tedious.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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