Give up that crazy illusion of privacy. Your life is no longer your own:

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.

If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.

“I’ve certainly seen them ask for passwords,” said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We push back.”

A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies “really heavily scrutinize” these requests, the person said. “There’s a lot of ‘over my dead body.'”

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.

One thought on “Surrender!

  1. “…We push back…”

    Yeah, sure.

    The phone carriers caved before, probably only too glad to, as came to light in 2006, for records of calls and internet messages sent not only after 9/11, but 7 months before 9/11. (Meaning, I guess, the government knew but chose not to take action so as to get their Second Pearl Harbor and a reason to systematically deny more and more liberties).

    Such compilation continues every minute of every day since then, right up to the present. And the phone carriers will certainly cave again. Passwords, schmashwords.

    I am sure the electorate thought that “transparency” was a legitimate national issue.

    But the joke’s on us – we are the ones who are totally “transparent” and constantly spied on.

    Knowledge of government activity on behalf of the military-industrial-security complex and the 1%? Not so much.

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