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[ NNSquad ] NSA: Possibly breaking US laws, but still bound by laws of computational complexity

NSA: Possibly breaking US laws, but still bound by laws of
computational complexity

http://j.mp/1cZ2swi  (Shtetl-Optimized)

     That, of course, raised the extremely interesting question of what
     "groundbreaking capabilities" the Director of National Intelligence
     was referring to.  I said my personal guess was that, with ~99%
     probability, he meant various implementation vulnerabilities and
     side-channel attacks-the sort of thing that we know has compromised
     deployed cryptosystems many times in the past, but where it's very
     easy to believe that the NSA is ahead of the open world.  With ~1%
     probability, I guessed, the NSA made some sort of big improvement in
     classical algorithms for factoring, discrete log, or other
     number-theoretic problems.  (I would've guessed even less than 1%
     probability for the latter, before the recent breakthrough by Joux
     solving discrete log in fields of small characteristic in
     quasipolynomial time.)

 - - -

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com): http://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: http://www.pfir.org/pfir-info
 - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org 
 - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com/privacy-info
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
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Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 / Skype: vortex.com
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