Stop the NSA!

CREDO action
Email your congressperson: Revoke the NSA's standing invitation to weaken Internet encryption.

Click below to email Rep. Latham:
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Dear 5849376,

The Internet's last line of defense against the National Security Agency's unconstitutional dragnet surveillance operation is encryption, the technology that allows people to communicate over the Internet without worrying that the government or hackers can listen in.

When Edward Snowden released secret NSA documents last year, we learned that the NSA has worked for years to undermine these protocols, inserting secret "backdoors" that allow it to listen in on private communication.1

Sadly, that the NSA attempted to trample our civil liberties to conduct unconstitutional mass surveillance is no surprise -- but, what is shocking is that the agency has a "standing invitation" to do so.2 The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the body that creates the algorithms to safeguard communication on the internet, is required by law to consult with the NSA when it authors new encryption standards. Documents Snowden released show that the NSA has abused this opportunity to insert "backdoors" in the internet that endanger our security and enable mass surveillance.

Progressive champion Rep. Alan Grayson has written a bill to revoke the NSA's invitation to the NIST, leaving the Internet's security in the hands of capable security experts who don't have a conflict of interest.

Tell Rep. Latham: Cosponsor HR 5099. Revoke the NSA's standing invitation to weaken Internet encryption. Click here to send him a letter.

The NIST's job is to create encryption standards that keep communication secure. Whether it's keeping our credit card numbers out of the hands of scammers when we buy books online or keeping communication between dissidents hidden from oppressive governments, these encryption standards help keep everyone safe. Thanks to Edward Snowden's revelations, we now know that the NSA has been abusing its opportunity to help write these standards in order to covertly insert fatal flaws -- "backdoors" that let it monitor communication people assume to be secure.

The "backdoors" the NSA inserts into encryption standards don't just endanger our civil liberties, they also endanger our personal security. Researchers at Microsoft independently discovered the flaws the NSA inserted into encryption algorithms, showing that hackers and foreign governments might be able to use these flaws to monitor private communication too. When the NSA weakens the Internet's security to advance their mass surveillance programs, they endanger everyone who uses the Internet.

Grayson's important bill has bipartisan support, giving it a rare chance to pass even in this deadlocked Congress. But Members of Congress won't focus on protecting our civil liberties unless they feel strong grassroots pressure.

Tell Rep. Latham: Cosponsor HR 5099. Revoke the NSA's standing invitation to weaken Internet encryption. Click the link below to send him a letter.

Thank you for standing up for the Internet.

Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action

Email your Congressperson ►

Learn more about this campaign

  1. "Revealed: The NSA's Secret Campaign to Crack, Undermine Internet Security" Jeff Larson, ProPublica, 9-5-13.
  2. "Looks Like the NSA May Lose Its Standing Invitation to Weaken Encryption," Nadia Kayyali, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 6-10-14

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