Obama Administration Demands Internet Companies Give Over Passwords

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The Obama administration’s security services want your Internet service to hand over your password to them. Are you comfortable with this?

The website that broke this news, CNET, called this an “escalation in Internet surveillance” by the federal government. Yeah, I’d say so!

Obama Administration Demands Internet Companies Give Over Passwords

“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,” the tech website reported on July 25.

That isn’t all the government is demanding from our Internet providers. They also want our security questions and the company’s algorithms.

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.

Naturally most of the Internet companies that CNET tried to interview about this refused to talk about the whole thing. Who can blame them with the iron boot heel of Obama’s administration on their necks, eh?

Even as far back as 2011, Congress and the President were debating whether they should get some sort of Internet kill switch installed into our system of online communications:

[youtube]5_JIxCsyxRo[/youtube]

CNET does have some savvy advice–though, slyly unstated advice–on how to do your part to make cracking your password with decryption software a bit harder.

One popular algorithm, used by Twitter and LinkedIn, is called bcrypt. A 2009 paper (PDF) by computer scientist Colin Percival estimated that it would cost a mere $4 to crack, in an average of one year, an 8-character bcrypt password composed only of letters. To do it in an average of one day, the hardware cost would jump to approximately $1,500.

But if a password of the same length included numbers, asterisks, punctuation marks, and other special characters, the cost-per-year leaps to $130,000. Increasing the length to any 10 characters, Percival estimated in 2009, brings the estimated cracking cost to a staggering $1.2 billion.

 

Interesting advice. Maybe we should all revisit our passwords, make them longer, and add some special characters?

So, are you comfortable with the federal government having the power to shut off your access to the Internet and having your passwords and personal info so they can muck about in your accounts? Tell us below.

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12 Responses

  1. gary says:

    Use passwords that make no sense, use the maximum characters and change them monthly. I like math, maybe I’ll invent a new encryption technology that would take a billion years of penta bit processing to break. And after they do that it will simply reveal the words, “What a waste of money”. Don’t these idiots know that you can avoid everything they are doing with sneaker net, a pencil, paper, and a match to burn the message, and a sneaker to pulverize the paper, which is then flushed down the toilet?

  2. mike says:

    Another thought I had, if the govt is so intent in having all this info on everyone, then we are also entitled to have info from them, from their accounts, from their cell phone and computer records, etc. They do it to us, so no reason why we should not give them a does of their own medicine!!

  3. Archie1954 says:

    If you could see me now you would notice my middle finger is extended. As far as I”m concerned Obama and hs administration can sit on it and rotate!

    • doesntmatter says:

      if they were to knock down, I mean, on you door (if you think for one second they don’t already have all of our info, then I would assume you are still in denial of our near future rfid chipping o_o)…and inform you that you are a terrorist due to your expressed feelings towards “obama and his admin”, just what exactly would your process of action be?

      its getting real out here…ijs, always be prepared for any possible action to anything you may express in public…where do you think you are, land of the free???? -_-

  4. 5 War Veteran says:

    You know Insider Trading is legal for politicians but not for you or me. Personally I have nothing but my financial information to hide from ANY criminal elected or no. If they want to give me access to their private banking accounts I am sure I can be trusted waaay better than they can . All the rest I am an open book.

  5. Linda says:

    At this point, I worry about the corrupt government stealing my bank account. I dont’ have a lot and I need what I do have. Then I worry that one of their corrupt employees will use m y commerical websites to buy merchandise and charge it to my cards. That’s a very real danger.

    • mike says:

      This is why I closed my bank account at BOA about a year ago, I still have a car loan with a small credit union so I still have an account there, but dont use it, no money in it, just make my payment each month in cash, I also cash my paychecks at walmart, I found I really did not need a bank account, Id imagine lots of people really dont either. I keep all the money I have in my room, so I have quick access, but I live alone, so this is safe for me. Id encourage more people to drop their bank accounts.

  6. mike says:

    Well, if the companies comply and give all this info up, then they are no better than the administration asking for it, In years past, companies would just refuse requests like this. Maybe what the people should do is boycott all companies who end up complying with the Govt?

    • Elaine says:

      I really don’t mind sounding dumb (lol), if you can give me an answer. I have had both Verizon and Time Warner Accounts….IF they do shut down, that will really have a drastic effect on their profits. Why in the world would they cut their own throats like that?

      ———
      Side Bar: Obama threatened this same thing a couple of years ago, and Verizon stopped them.

  7. over it says:

    mask? encrypt? change before you log out every day?
    be annoying, but not as annoying as some mongrel snooping on you.

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