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24 August 2013

Snowden Induced Mea Culpas

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2013 17:33:30 -0400
To: <cypherpunks[at]>,<cryptography[at]>, <cryptome[at]>
From: John Young <jya[at]>
Subject: [cryptography] Snowden Induced Mea Culpas

Comsec experts should not be surprised at the Snowden revelations about NSA so far, most of which are venerable.

What is surprising is their seemingly exaggerated surprise because many of them worked at or ran firms which were known to be heavily involved with official spying through dual-use technology and dual-purpose contracts.

With USG and world governments, with banks and telecoms, with comsec, software and anti-virus firms, with universities and research institutes, with FOI organizations and public interest advisory boards, with vulture investors, TED and Aspen, with revolving doors among goverment, industry, education, journalism, banking and Wall Street, with RAND, NRL, the national laboratories, to name a few.

In most instances these dual roles were not hidden. Or were they?

What might be troubling about Snowden's possible revelations that is causing exaggerated surprise of these experts is the disclosure that the dual-uses and dual-roles in spying were more extensive than has been made public. That has been protected by highest secrecy about to be breached, not about the spy agencies but those used to camouflage and assist the spying by downplaying its pervasiveness by selling protection that could never be wholly effective, that the cybersec game was as rigged as gambling.

That the backdoors, vulnerabilities, holes, faults, and errors were more craftily hidden and exploited with the complicity of the best and brightest while they deluded the the public for market share and FOI fame. That it was a charade to agitate for more security and privacy while undermining them. That Snowden has the documents about that ancient betrayal and will at some point make them available. That it would be wise to get ahead of this exposure by rushing to claim the spying has been greater than even we experts knew and comsec is a fraud by design. Crypto-AG the norm.

Crypto-AG article, 1995.

Rigging the Game

By Scott Shane and Tom Bowman, Baltimore Sun Staff

Spy Sting: Few at the Swiss factory knew the mysterious visitors were pulling off a stunning intelligence coup -- perhaps the most audacious in the National Security Agency's long war on foreign codes.

[Scott Shane, currently with the New York Times, is reportedly working on a series about the Snowden NSA documents provided to the Times by the Guardian.]

A pocket guide to NSA sabotage