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Add technologists to surveillance tech review panel, IT groups say

Grant Gross | Oct. 8, 2013
Tech groups say an Obama review board of NSA surveillance lacks technical expertise.

"As technologists, it strikes us as highly unlikely that no reasonable solution exists to overcome the technical hurdle in this example," the group of IT experts wrote. "It is deeply problematic that the court has no way to verify these types of assertions, and that the court is not provided an independent technologist or adviser outside of the intelligence community."

The letter from the 47 technologists also criticized the recently revealed NSA attempts to circumvent encryption technologies, saying the encryption exploitation program was "staggering news for technologists."

The NSA efforts "fundamentally undermine" Internet security, the group said. "The NSA assumes that it can exploit these weaknesses and gain exclusive access to the content of communications," the group wrote. "The reality is that backdoors and covert access mechanisms are fragile and often exploitable by organized criminals, hackers, and the military and intelligence services of other governments."


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