U.S. NSA director makes another visit to Silicon Valley

“Adm. Michael S. Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, said on Monday that a secure Internet was in the best interest of the United States, following disclosures that the N.S.A. had been exploiting weaknesses in the web for foreign intelligence gathering,” Nicole Perlroth reports for The New York Times. “Admiral Rogers took over the post of N.S.A. director in April as the agency faced criticism over its mass-surveillance program, and particularly its efforts to undermine digital encryption and exploit security flaws to spy on foreigners, after the revelations by the former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden.”

“Apple and Google have taken steps to encrypt mobile data by introducing fully encrypted cellphones,” Perlroth reports. “Those moves prompted the F.B.I.’s director, James B. Comey, in a speech two weeks ago, to remark that the ‘post-Snowden pendulum’ had ‘gone too far.’ But Admiral Rogers took a different tack in his speech on Monday, before an audience of students and faculty at Stanford, saying ‘a fundamentally strong Internet is in the best interest of the U.S.’ Increasingly encrypted products and services are ‘a challenge,’ Admiral Rogers said. ‘And we’ll deal with it.'”

“A partnership with Silicon Valley corporations is likely to be an uphill battle. At a recent Apple event, Timothy D. Cook, the company’s chief executive, said that the company’s priority was to protect consumer privacy and that it would not loosen security or encryption for intelligence-gathering efforts,” Perlroth reports. “‘There’s been some comments from some law enforcement types that said, ‘Hey, this is not good, we don’t have the flexibility we had before,” Mr. Cook said. ‘If law enforcement wants something they should go to the user and get it. It’s not for me to do that.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Adhere to the U.S. Constitution.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. – Ronald Reagan, March 30, 1961

Related articles:
Apple’s iPhone encryption is a godsend, even if government snoops and cops hate it – October 8, 2014
Short-timer U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder blasts Apple for protecting users’ privacy against government overreach – September 30, 2014
What if Osama bin Laden had an iPhone? – September 26, 2014
FBI blasts Apple for protective users’ privacy by locking government, police out of iPhones and iPads – September 25, 2014
Apple thinks different about privacy – September 23, 2014
Apple’s iOS Activation Lock reduces iPhone thefts, Samsung phone thefts skyrocket – September 18, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
Would you trade privacy for national security? Most Americans wouldn’t – August 6, 2014
Apple begins encrypting iCloud email sent between providers – July 15, 2014
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up U.S. feds’ surveillance – April 4, 2013


  1. i don’t know about comey and his ilk…. by the time they get things done the way they want, what kind of country are we going to be left with ? a total surveillance (or should i say “total awareness”) society, perhaps ?

    brings to mind the good old days of viet nam

    “we had to destroy the village to save it” anyone remember that gem?

    well now there is one hell of a lot more at stake than one viet namese village. i would say the american nation is in peril.

  2. The stupid thing is that spy organizations like the NSA, FBI and CIA are shooting themselves in the foot by coming out and complaining about this privacy stuff. Which I’m glad they are dumb enough to do, because that just raises public awareness to the lack of security and privacy, makes consumers demand more, and companies like Apple respond to protect their customers.

    The spy agencies would be much smarter to shut up and work under the radar at getting around security measures. I’m sure they’re doing that anyway, but bringing any of it into the public spotlight just accelerates public countermeasures. And for that, I’m very happy for our open and free internet (well, mostly open and free).

  3. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The government pushed the pendulum too far and now is getting whacked by the pendulum coming back.

    Trampling on people’s civil rights is a bad thing. The government did it, got caught and now the people are pissed. The fourth amendment there for a reason, it’s one of the rules our republic. You don’t ignore these rules and if you do expect a backlash. This is the backlash.

    It will be a long time and take a lot of work before people trust the government again.

  4. NOBODY in a foreign country wants to buy an American Product that has a Backdoor in it.
    Sooner or later, the Backdoor is found, the bad guys take advantage of it: Everyone is Screwed!
    Rogers, you are not helping the security of this country.
    And you are wanting to screw over the people whose living depends on creating those products. Insecure products will not sell, people will loose their jobs, and companies will close.
    Why don’t you make cars safer… 😉

  5. Ironic that MDN would prescribe that we “Adhere to the U.S. Constitution.” and then inject a couple quotes that are not found in it. Moreover, 6.6 billion people on the planet resent the attempts of a nation of less than 400 million people dictating what they can and can’t do. It’s time that the USA respect the laws in other nations instead of injecting its military and spooks into foreign lands. THAT is the issue.

    And do you know why the US spends so much on foreign nationbuilding? One of the main reasons is that US corporations who essentially own Congress have dictated that the U.S. taxpayer, through dozens of complicated national agencies, does the work of guarding the national resources that moneyed interests want to tap. There is no practical reason why US military, if they were actually protecting the US people, should not be stationed entirely within US borders. It is long past time that the voter wake up and demand the military-industrial complex be shrunk to a reasonable size. Everything Eisenhower warned the world about has come true. But nobody listens as the world’s modern Rome digs itself deeper and deeper into public debt so that its corporations can accrue insane piles of cash overseas. The common citizen is getting screwed. Again, the problem is corporatocracy, not big bad government. A government that actually worked for the benefit of the people would not be so wasteful.

    1. i agree with much of what you say, but might add that the big bad government IS the corporatocracy, ( or vice versa) they have become one and the same thing, unfortunately.

      even pat buchanan doesn’t shy away from labeling the united states as an imperial power.

      what a mess we have gotten ourselves into.

      we are way off the track

    2. So, you speak for 6 billion people? I’ve heard some total bullshit from some presumptuous twits before, but you take the cake. Millions of people around the world thank God every single day that the U.S. existed when they needed them to save them and that the U.S. exists today to continue to protect them.

      The U.S. is the beacon of freedom for the world. Reagan was right: Be ever vigilant.

      1. Let’s review your post, Luke.

        1st sentence: irrelevant question. You know very well what nations invited the US to partake in the defeat of true evil like Naziism versus the usual US policy of strong-arming nations to accept hundreds of thousands of troops camped there.

        2nd sentence: weak insult.

        3rd: Luke talks like a presumptuous twit. Nobody prays to the US to “save them”. Nations negotiate for trade deals and certainly some parasites are always angling for free handouts, but at some point, guests can overstay their welcome. Remember, we are talking about US “security” services, not NATO or UN peacekeepers, who are almost universally admired because they fix what they can and then get out.

        The US is becoming increasingly corrupt, and it needs to put a new polish on its beacon. If you traveled, you would understand that the US is no longer the world leader in many things that matter: health, education, infrastructure, small business opportunity, ecology, and so forth. If you want to be a beacon, stop blowing money on military excess and start investing it wisely at home.

  6. While I agree that the pendulum has swung far too far towards security rather than privacy (I told my friends to watch out for that about 15 minutes after the second tower fell), most of the posters on this site on this subject do not seem to acknowledge that there is actually a tradeoff involved. Just as too big a focus on security leads to an unacceptable loss of privacy, too big a focus on privacy has real consequences for public safety.

    Imagine: a friend of yours on the local police force tells you that they have been monitoring a web service physically located in Southeast Asia. About 5% of the traffic from the site are tourist pictures, but the other 95% is hardcore kiddie porn starring 7-12 year olds who have been kidnapped or sold into the sex trade, with the costars being adults who have graduated from just watching children being physically and sexually abused to becoming enthusiastic actors. This abuse is facilitated by the money paid by the web site’s users.

    Pursuant to a valid warrant issued by an elected state judge, the police have identified the local customers of the site. One of them is a man who lives on your block. He has been downloading material from the site, with the volume steadily accelerating over time. However, the encryption on the traffic and on his hard drive is too robust for the police to crack, so they can’t charge him with anything.

    Your children (aged 7-12) walk in front of his house every day and play next door with their friends. Several children in the area who are their age have disappeared recently. That’s why the police got the warrant. Because all the web traffic is encrypted, your neighbor can continue doing whatever he is doing indefinitely.

    Would you trade his privacy for your childrens’ security?

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