Posted on July 27, 2013 10:30 am

Feds Allegedly Demanding User Passwords From Services

from the trust-no-one dept.

Following the /. story on the Feds demanding SSL keys, now comes news that the feds are demanding user passwords, and in some cases, the encryption algorithm and salt used. From the article: ‘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. … Other orders demand the secret question codes often associated with user accounts.’ I’m next expecting to see the regulation or law demanding that all users use plain text for all web transactions, to catch terrorists and for the children

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As sad as it is, I have to agree. This doesn’t surprise me one bit. I mean, investigating is hard! Can’t have criminals hide behind things like strong encryption! Ergo, no one can use encryption.

That said, I’m hoping we’re slowly getting to a tipping point on the entire privacy vs security discussion. 9/11 has happened long ago enough that the knee-jerk reactions are dying down, and people are starting to question what we’re doing in order to make sure 3000 people don’t die over the course of a few years.