Juniper Fiasco: Greenwald Complicit In Sustaining Mass Surveillance

Vonnegut's AssholeIt was after Juniper burned a vulnerability in its products used to support NSA and GCHQ spying, and after independent researchers discovered the nature of the back door (archived) that Glen Greenwald, formerly of the Guardian, revealed that this vulnerability was in a stash of disclosures he received more than two years ago from Edward Snowden. Greenwald's reveal came six days after Juniper disclosed the existence of the backdoor and a day after independent researches began presenting serious evidence indicating the backdoor was born in the USA.

The vulnerability depended on the NSA promoted Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator (Dual EC DRBG). Dual EC DRBG was published by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2007 over objections, and had been included in commercial cryptographic libraries as early as 2004 thanks to the NSA paying for its inclusion. Shortly after the first publications based on Snowden leaks media outlets fingered Dual EC DRBG as part of the NSA's Project Bullrun cryptography subversion program (archived). NIST waited until late April 2014 to recommend against continued use of Dual EC DRGB in a draft revised standard.

That Juniper disclosed the vulnerability this month suggests they were either lazy, forgetful, or complicit in compromising the security of their customers. That Greenwald waited until Juniper disclosed the vulnerability and others pinned it on the NSA before leaking bits of relevant memos means that he was complicit with every use of this vulnerability. Far from being the hero of the Edward Snowden saga, Greenwald is another villain censoring every actual potentially interesting bit until its disclosure is of absolutely no help to anyone.

At this point it ought to be abundantly clear that the continued use of Dual EC DRBG in any application, commercial or open source, is criminal. Still with Dual EC DRBG deployed in the wild for a decade, it is exceedingly likely vulnerabilities related to its use will continue for quite some time. It belongs in the trash bin with md4 and DES. It is further clear that Greenwald will continue to release new information from his Snowden cache only after the rest of the world has independently come to the conclusion of whatever memo he cites next.

7 thoughts on “Juniper Fiasco: Greenwald Complicit In Sustaining Mass Surveillance

  1. It is well known that Glen Greenwald is a believer in democracy and the unquestioned need for the State; he is a Statist. It is also well understood that all the documents he has are screened before they are released, and that he does this explicitly to defend the State and protect the sham called "democracy".

    It is also a fact that Glen Greenwald is withholding information wholesale, either because it is "too sensitive to release, or they haven't got time to review assess, vette and release it in an "orderly" fashion. Clearly this is unacceptable, with everyone globally living under persistent threat. It is the same has him sitting on the cure for many different cancers, and refusing to release them all at once because the pharmaceutical industry might suffer monetary losses.

    Give the size of the treasure trove of documents copied by Edward Snowden, it would take 42 years for all of them to be released at the current rate. That means the vast majority of the information in them, the complicit companies and actors, compromised software, and the landscape in which they all interoperate will be long gone before the last page is released. Greenwald himself will be 90.

    If Greenwald was really interested in putting an end to the "Surveillance State" (which actually means just "The State") forever, he would distribute all the documents at once, to cause an irreversible one time paradigm shift in the way people think and work (in the way that Apple has locked out intruders from their devices and messaging platforms) so that the State can never again gain free access to anyone's communications, or eventually money (Bitcoin).

    The problem is Glen thinks the State is a necessary evil, that men cannot live without it or its violence. He thinks that democracy is a synonym for "good". Under Greenwald's release regime, fundamental change is impossible. Edward Snowden's greatest error was in choosing Glen Greenwald as the conduit for his treasure trove, if indeed he did Choose him. There is no way that Snowden does not know the slow rate of release is a problem, and that essentially nothing will change without a complete, un-redacted release of all documents.

    • Also instead of just leaving article length comments… Maybe you could occasionally submit these for publication as standalone articles? I mean there's compensation involved if you go that route.

    • Greenwald himself will be 90.

      Or maybe he just wants to make sure the CIA has a reason not to assassinate him until he's 90.

      There is a dead-man's switch.

  2. Hes complying with snowdens wishes. Ed could have just as easily released the documents himself or given them to Assange. He chose Glen specifically because he knew that he would vet them first rather then dump everything at once

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