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Here's how to best secure your data now that the NSA can crack almost any encryption

Brad Chacos | Sept. 9, 2013
The latest Snowden-supplied bombshell shook the technology world to its core on Thursday: The NSA can crack many of the encryption technologies in place today, using a mixture of backdoors baked into software at the government's behest, a $250 million per year budget to encourage commercial software vendors to make its security "exploitable," and sheer computer-cracking technological prowess.

Proprietary encryption tools created overseas may—may—also be less likely to have installed NSA-friendly backdoors into their software. This morning, I received an email from Boxcryptor, the superb (and Germany-based) cloud-storage encryption tool, reassuring me that there is no way for the company to snoop on its customers, as it encrypts files using private RSA security keys stored only on users' private PCs, then transmits the already-encrypted files using HTTPs.

Going further
Beyond encryption, most of the advice in How to protect your PC from Prism surveillance still applies. Note, however, that the New York Times report on the NSA's crypto-cracking abilities suggest that VPN technology and the ever-popular SSL web protocol have been two encryption methods particularly targeted by the government. (Schneier suggests using TLS and IPsec whenever possible on the web-communication front.)

Even so, using the tips in that article will make your browsing much more secure in general, not just the NSA or foreign governments.


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