A group of cryptographers have issued an open letter to the UK and US governments demanding a full disclosure of any and all security related products that may have been “weakened” by the inclusion of “backdoors.”
The open letter is in response to numerous reports that an array of state-of-the-art security solutions may have suffered from “systematic undermining of cryptographic solutions and standards” in order to allow intelligence agencies to gain access to encrypted data.
“As researchers in security we understand that the NSA and GCHQ are tasked with conducting operations for purposes of national security. However, the documents released show that NSA and GCHQ worked to weaken international cryptographic standards, and to place backdoors into security products; such backdoors could of course be potentially exploited by others than the original creators,” the group stated.
The group asserts that by weakening cryptographic standards affecting widely employed security products products, some used to secure critical infrastructure, that the intelligence agencies are effectively “acting against the interests of the public that they are meant to serve.”
“We find it shocking that agencies of both the US and UK governments now stand accused of undermining the systems which protect us. By weakening all our security so that they can listen in to the communications of our enemies, they also weaken our security against our potential enemies,” the letter continued.
The group is calling on “relevant parties” to disclose which products may have been undermined, and for the establishment of rules to forbid such compromises in the future.
The group also want the Intelligence and Security Committee of the House of Commons to conduct a thorough investigation of the practice by government agencies, and for an increase in oversight.
“In the modern information age we all need to have complete trust in the basic infrastructure that we all use,” the group admonished.