Friday, January 24, 2014

Colbert Has Been Coopted

There was once a time…. but that was long ago, so never mind.

"Activists pressure Colbert to skip RSA Conference" by Michael B. Farrell |  Globe Staff, January 11, 2014

The same Massachusetts digital rights group that led a successful Internet uprising against antipiracy legislation in 2012 is taking aim at RSA, the Bedford cybersecurity giant accused of conspiring with the National Security Agency on its data-snooping program.

The organization, Fight for the Future, has started an online petition to pressure comedian Stephen Colbert to cancel his planned keynote address at RSA’s upcoming annual conference, one of the biggest in the cybersecurity industry, and join a growing boycott by influential technologists who are upset with the company’s possible role in aiding widespread NSA spying activities.

I'm sorry, it is just not funny anymore. 

The backlash against RSA, a subsidiary of Hopkinton’s EMC Corp., has continued to mount since a Dec. 20 Reuters article reported the company received $10 million from the NSA. According to the article, RSA was paid to make a preferred NSA formula the default option in a key security product, which would allow the spy agency an easier way to get around computer security safeguards.

Who are the hackers again?

RSA has denied that it intentionally provided the NSA with a backdoor around its security software. But RSA’s response has not mollified several prominent security professionals who canceled scheduled speaking engagements at the conference. So far, at least eight speakers have dropped out….

SeeExperts withdraw from Internet security conference

Fight for the Future gained prominence in 2012 when it helped lead a widespread Internet protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, a bill that would have given the government broad oversight of the Internet. The debate pitted Internet companies such as Google Inc. against entertainment companies that supported the bill as a way to fight the piracy of music and movies.

Now we have net bias, so it will be up to the Netflix people to restore balance.

Over the past two years, Fight for the Future has achieved an influential position among Internet activists and plans next week to begin promoting its online petition targeting Colbert….

And they also made it into my controlled-opposition paper?

Some 560 speakers are scheduled to take part in the conference that begins Feb. 24 in San Francisco. RSA’s executive chairman, Arthur Coviello, is scheduled to give the opening address.

Colbert representatives could not be reached for comment.


How odd that he is still silent on this.


"Bedford’s RSA under fire after NSA allegations" by Michael B. Farrell and Hiawatha Bray |  Globe Staff, December 28, 2013

Cybersecurity experts and privacy advocates are continuing to press Bedford cybersecurity company RSA to reveal more details about its relationship with the National Security Agency’s spying program, with some critics calling for a boycott of the company’s upcoming annual convention.

Where they holding that convention?

A Dec. 20 Reuters article suggested that RSA, a division of the data storage giant EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, received $10 million from the NSA to modify one of its cybersecurity products, Bsafe, in a way that would allow the spy agency to get around computer safeguards and access sensitive data.

EMC and its division just happy to be one of the global leaders in government and industry storage of data -- and all the while were supplying the NSA with trap-door access!

Critics contend RSA has failed to clarify what its specific business dealings were with the NSA....

RSA and EMC each declined to comment Friday.

The product in question, Bsafe, is a widely used software tool designed to prevent hackers from breaking into software applications and stealing data....

Was TARGET TARGETED by the NSA!!??? 


Hacking is Good Bu$ine$$
Logging Away From the NSA
TAOtapping at the NSA 


Moreover, the RSA encryption software is used throughout EMC’s products, raising the possibility that data stored on EMC systems might be vulnerable.

The Reuters story said RSA installed a computer algorithm selected by the NSA into Bsafe, and made it the default number generator, so that it would more likely be used by customers. That could give the NSA the means to break into applications protected by the RSA product.

Earlier this year, leaks by former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had designed such an encryption formula and made it available to the cybersecurity industry.

Made it "available," huh? What if you didn't want it? NSA show you the file they have on you?

The Reuters article is the first account suggesting that RSA was paid to be complicit in using the NSA algorithm. The story quoted some in the industry who questioned whether RSA was duped into using the encryption tool by the NSA.

This past weekend, RSA acknowledged it had worked with the NSA on a computer code for its security products, as far back as 2004 — well before anyone had an inkling of the widespread snooping the agency would conduct....

The company’s statement, however, has failed to mollify many critics....

Now, just eight weeks before the company hosts its annual conference, one of the computer security industry’s most prestigious events, RSA is facing a growing backlash, from cyber professionals and privacy advocates alike.

Two prominent speakers have withdrawn from the conference, and talk of a boycott of the RSA Conference is spreading on social media.

You anti-semitic, I mean $security bastards!

“There are going to be economic consequences, especially outside the United States. The boycott of the RSA Conference is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Nicco Mele, a technology and policy expert at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Indeed, one of the first cybersecurity experts to withdraw from the conference was Mikko Hypponen, a well-known privacy specialist and chief research officer at the Finnish company F-Secure. Soon thereafter, Josh Thomas, an executive with Atredis Partners in Houston, also canceled his talk at the RSA Conference.

“I feel absolutely no need to go to that conference and speak, and by my actions and my words to further the RSA brand,” said Thomas, who worked for more than a decade developing artificial intelligence software for the Army and cryptographic software for the Pentagon.

Previously RSA earned a reputation for fighting the government’s efforts to weaken encryption tools. In the 1990s, under Jim Bidzos, former chief executive, it helped quash an NSA program to get telecommunications companies to adopt a chip that would make government eavesdropping easier.

Now its credibility is being called into question.

“What can RSA say? You caught us here, but we haven’t done it anywhere else? You can trust us?” said Bruce Schneier, author of multiple books on data security and privacy.

More broadly, said Schneier, the NSA spying scandal is taking a toll on the American technology industry.

For instance, he said, Cisco Systems Inc. said last month that customers in emerging markets are buying less of its equipment out of concern about built-in back doors that could let US spies access their data.

A bid by AT&T Inc. to buy the British cellphone company Vodafone Group PLC has faced pushback from European regulators worried about NSA infiltration of American telecommunications.

“This is the poison of what NSA has done,” said Schneier. “They’ve destroyed trust on the Internet.”

No, they have destroyed trust in government, authority, and its mouthpiece jewsmedia. The internet is the only thing I trust now.

Meanwhile, some smaller security companies that offer similar products to the RSA Bsafe tool kit may stand to benefit....

At least someone is over the construction of the totalitarian $urveillance state and its a$$ociated products.


Also see: Hacking Past and Present 

RSA been doing in a long time.