Internet-Draft Ten Years After May 2023
Farrell, et al. Expires 21 November 2023 [Page]


This memo contains the thoughts and recountings of events that
transpired during and after the release of information about the NSA
by Edward Snowden. There are four perspectives: that of someone
who was involved with sifting through the information to responsibly
inform the public, a security area director of the IETF, a human
rights expert, and of a computer science and law expert. The purpose
of this memo is to provide some historical perspective, while at the
same time offering a view as to what security and privacy challenges
the technical community should consider.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task
Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working
documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet-Drafts is

Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
material or to cite them other than as “work in progress.”

This Internet-Draft will expire on 21 November 2023.

1. Introduction

On June 6th, 2013, an article appeared in The Guardian
[guard2013] that was the beginning of a series of what have come to
be known as revelations about the activities of the United States
National Security Agency (NSA). These activities included, amongst
others, secret court orders, secret agreements for the receipt of
so-called “meta-information” that includes source, destination, and
timing of communications, tapping of communications lines, and other
activities. The breathtaking scope of the operations shocked the
Internet technical community, and led to a sea change within the
IETF, IAB, and many parts of the private sector.

Now that some years have past, it seems appropriate to reflect on that
period of time, what effect the community’s actions had, where
security has improved, how the threat surface has evolved, what areas
haven’t improved, and where the community might invest future efforts.

Bruce Schneier begins this compendium of individual essays by bringing
us back to 2013, recalling how it was for him and others to report
what was happening, and the mindset of those involved. Next, Stephen
Farrell reviews the technical community’s reactions, technical
advances, and where threats remain. Then Farzaneh Badii discusses the
impact of those advances – or lack thereof – on human rights. Finally
Steven M. Bellovin puts the Snowden revelations into an ever-evolving
historical context of secrets and secret stealing that spans
centuries, closing with some suggestions for IETF.

Readers are invited to reflect for themselves on what impact we as a
community have had – or not had, and what positive contribution the
technical community can and should make to address security and
privacy of citizens of the world.

— Eliot Lear, Independent Submissions Editor for the RFC Series

2. Bruce Schneier: Snowden Ten Years Later

In 2013 and 2014, I wrote extensively about new revelations regarding
NSA surveillance based on the documents provided by Edward
Snowden. But I had a more personal involvement as well.

I wrote the essay below in September 2013. The New Yorker agreed to
publish it, but the Guardian asked me not to. It was
scared of UK law enforcement, and worried that this essay would
reflect badly on it. And given that the UK police would raid its
offices in July 2014, it had legitimate cause to be worried.

Now, ten years later, I offer this as a time capsule of what those
early months of Snowden were like.


It’s a surreal experience, paging through hundreds of top-secret NSA
documents. You’re peering into a forbidden world: strange, confusing,
and fascinating all at the same time.

I had flown down to Rio de Janeiro in late August at the request of
Glenn Greenwald. He had been working on the Edward Snowden archive for
a couple of months, and had a pile of more technical documents that he
wanted help interpreting. According to Greenwald, Snowden also thought
that bringing me down was a good idea.

It made sense. I didn’t know either of them, but I have been writing
about cryptography, security, and privacy for decades. I could
decipher some of the technical language that Greenwald had difficulty
with, and understand the context and importance of various
document. And I have long been publicly critical of the NSA’s
eavesdropping capabilities. My knowledge and expertise could help
figure out which stories needed to be reported.

I thought about it a lot before agreeing. This was before David
Miranda, Greenwald’s partner, was detained at Heathrow airport by the
UK authorities; but even without that, I knew there was a risk. I fly
a lot—a quarter of a million miles per year—and being put on a TSA
list, or being detained at the US border and having my electronics
seized, would be a major problem. So would the FBI breaking into my
home and seizing my personal electronics. But in the end, that made me
more determined to do it.

I did spend some time on the phone with the attorneys recommended to
me by the ACLU and the EFF. And I talked about it with my partner,
especially when Miranda was detained three days before my departure.
Both Greenwald and his employer, the Guardian, are careful about whom
they show the documents to. They publish only those portions essential
to getting the story out. It was important to them that I be a
co-author, not a source. I didn’t follow the legal reasoning, but the
point is that the Guardian doesn’t want to leak the documents to
random people. It will, however, write stories in the public interest,
and I would be allowed to review the documents as part of that
process. So after a Skype conversation with someone at the Guardian, I
signed a letter of engagement.

And then I flew to Brazil.

I saw only a tiny slice of the documents, and most of what I saw was
surprisingly banal. The concerns of the top-secret world are largely
tactical: system upgrades, operational problems owing to weather,
delays because of work backlogs, and so on. I paged through weekly
reports, presentation slides from status meetings, and general
briefings to educate visitors. Management is management, even inside
the NSA Reading the documents, I felt as though I were sitting through
some of those endless meetings.

The meeting presenters try to spice things up. Presentations regularly
include intelligence success stories. There were details—what had been
found, and how, and where it helped—and sometimes there were attaboys
from “customers” who used the intelligence. I’m sure these are
intended to remind NSA employees that they’re doing good. It
definitely had an effect on me. Those were all things I want the NSA
to be doing.

There were so many code names. Everything has one: every program,
every piece of equipment, every piece of software. Sometimes code
names had their own code names. The biggest secrets seem to be the
underlying real-world information: which particular company
MONEYROCKET is; what software vulnerability EGOTISTICALGIRAFFE—really,
I am not making that one up—is; how TURBINE works. Those secrets
collectively have a code name—ECI, for exceptionally compartmented
information—and almost never appear in the documents. Chatting with
Snowden on an encrypted IM connection, I joked that the NSA cafeteria
menu probably has code names for menu items. His response: “Trust me
when I say you have no idea.”

Those code names all come with logos, most of them amateurish and a
lot of them dumb. Note to the NSA: take some of that more than
ten-billion-dollar annual budget and hire yourself a design
firm. Really; it’ll pay off in morale.

Once in a while, though, I would see something that made me stop,
stand up, and pace around in circles. It wasn’t that what I read was
particularly exciting, or important. It was just that it was
startling. It changed—ever so slightly—how I thought about the world.

Greenwald said that that reaction was normal when people started
reading through the documents.

Intelligence professionals talk about how disorienting it is living on
the inside. You read so much classified information about the world’s
geopolitical events that you start seeing the world differently. You
become convinced that only the insiders know what’s really going on,
because the news media is so often wrong. Your family is
ignorant. Your friends are ignorant. The world is ignorant. The only
thing keeping you from ignorance is that constant stream of classified
knowledge. It’s hard not to feel superior, not to say things like “If
you only knew what we know” all the time. I can understand how General
Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, comes across as so
supercilious; I only saw a minute fraction of that secret world, and I
started feeling it.

It turned out to be a terrible week to visit Greenwald, as he was
still dealing with the fallout from Miranda’s detention. Two other
journalists, one from the Nation and the other from the Hindu, were
also in town working with him. A lot of my week involved Greenwald
rushing into my hotel room, giving me a thumb drive of new stuff to
look through, and rushing out again. I did get to “meet” Snowden over
secure chat.

A technician from the Guardian got a search capability working while I
was there, and I spent some time with it. Question: when you’re given
the capability to search through a database of NSA secrets, what’s the
first thing you look for? Answer: your name.

It wasn’t there. Neither were any of the algorithm names I knew, not
even algorithms I knew that the US government used.

I tried to talk to Greenwald about his own operational security. It
had been incredibly stupid for Miranda to be traveling with NSA
documents on the thumb drive. Transferring files electronically is
what encryption is for. I told Greenwald that he and Laura Poitras
should be sending large encrypted files of dummy documents back and
forth every day.

Once, at Greenwald’s home, I walked into the backyard and looked for
TEMPEST receivers hiding in the trees. I didn’t find any, but that
doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Greenwald has a lot of dogs, but I
don’t think that would hinder professionals. I’m sure that a bunch of
major governments have a complete copy of everything Greenwald
has. Maybe the black bag teams bumped into each other in those early

I started doubting my own security procedures. Reading about the NSA’s
hacking abilities will do that to you. Can it break the encryption on
my hard drive? Probably not. Has the company that makes my encryption
software deliberately weakened the implementation for it?
Probably. Are NSA agents listening in on my calls back to the US? Very
probably. Could agents take control of my computer over the Internet
if they wanted to? Definitely. In the end, I decided to do my best and
stop worrying about it. It was the agency’s documents, after all. And
what I was working on would become public in a few weeks.

I wasn’t sleeping well, either. A lot of it was the sheer magnitude of
what I saw. It’s not that any of it was a real surprise. Those of us
in the information security community had long assumed that the NSA
was doing things like this. But we never really sat down and figured
out the details, and to have the details confirmed made a big
difference. Maybe I can make it clearer with an analogy. Everyone
knows that death is inevitable; there’s absolutely no surprise about
that. Yet it arrives as a surprise, because we spend most of our lives
refusing to think about it. The NSA documents were a bit like
that. Knowing that it is surely true that the NSA is eavesdropping on
the world, and doing it in such a methodical and robust manner, is
very different from coming face-to-face with the reality that it is
and the details of how it is doing it.

I also found it incredibly difficult to keep the secrets. The
Guardian’s process is slow and methodical. I move much faster. I
drafted stories based on what I found. Then I wrote essays about those
stories, and essays about the essays. Writing was therapy; I would
wake up in the wee hours of the morning, and write an essay. But that
put me at least three levels beyond what was published.

Now that my involvement is out, and my first essays are out, I feel a
lot better. I’m sure it will get worse again when I find another
monumental revelation; there are still more documents to go through.

I’ve heard it said that Snowden wants to damage America. I can say
with certainty that he does not. So far, everyone involved in this
incident has been incredibly careful about what is released to the
public. There are many documents that could be immensely harmful to
the US, and no one has any intention of releasing them. The documents
the reporters release are carefully redacted. Greenwald and I
repeatedly debated with Guardian editors the newsworthiness of story
ideas, stressing that we would not expose government secrets simply
because they’re interesting.

The NSA got incredibly lucky; this could have ended with a massive
public dump like Chelsea Manning’s State Department cables. I suppose
it still could. Despite that, I can imagine how this feels to the NSA
It’s used to keeping this stuff behind multiple levels of security:
gates with alarms, armed guards, safe doors, and military-grade
cryptography. It’s not supposed to be on a bunch of thumb drives in
Brazil, Germany, the UK, the US, and who knows where else, protected
largely by some random people’s opinions about what should or should
not remain secret. This is easily the greatest intelligence failure in
the history of ever. It’s amazing that one person could have had so
much access with so little accountability, and could sneak all of this
data out without raising any alarms. The odds are close to zero that
Snowden is the first person to do this; he’s just the first person to
make public that he did. It’s a testament to General Alexander’s power
that he hasn’t been forced to resign.

It’s not that we weren’t being careful about security, it’s that our
standards of care are so different. From the NSA’s point of view,
we’re all major security risks, myself included. I was taking notes
about classified material, crumpling them up, and throwing them into
the wastebasket. I was printing documents marked “TOP
SECRET/COMINT/NOFORN” in a hotel lobby. And once, I took the wrong
thumb drive with me to dinner, accidentally leaving the unencrypted
one filled with top-secret documents in my hotel room. It was an
honest mistake; they were both blue.

If I were an NSA employee, the policy would be to fire me for that alone.

Many have written about how being under constant surveillance changes
a person. When you know you’re being watched, you censor yourself. You
become less open, less spontaneous. You look at what you write on your
computer and dwell on what you’ve said on the telephone, wonder how it
would sound taken out of context, from the perspective of a
hypothetical observer. You’re more likely to conform. You suppress
your individuality. Even though I have worked in privacy for decades,
and already knew a lot about the NSA and what it does, the change was
palpable. That feeling hasn’t faded. I am now more careful about what
I say and write. I am less trusting of communications technology. I am
less trusting of the computer industry.

After much discussion, Greenwald and I agreed to write three stories
together to start. All of those are still in progress. In addition, I
wrote two commentaries on the Snowden documents that were recently
made public. There’s a lot more to come; even Greenwald hasn’t looked
through everything.

Since my trip to Brazil [one month before], I’ve flown back to the US
once and domestically seven times—all without incident. I’m not on any
list yet. At least, none that I know about.


As it happened, I didn’t write much more with Greenwald or the
Guardian. Those two had a falling out, and by the time everything
settled and both began writing about the documents
independently—Greenwald at the newly formed website the Intercept—I
got cut out of the process somehow. I remember hearing that Greenwald
was annoyed with me, but I never learned the reason. We haven’t spoken

Still, I was happy with the one story I was part of: how the NSA hacks
Tor. I consider it a personal success that I pushed the Guardian to
publish NSA documents detailing QUANTUM. I don’t think that would have
gotten out any other way. And I still use those pages today when I
teach cybersecurity to policymakers at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Other people wrote about the Snowden files, and wrote a lot. It was a
slow trickle at first, and then a more consistent flow. Between
Greenwald, Bart Gellman, and the Guardian reporters, there ended up
being steady stream of news. (Bart brought in Ashkan Soltani to help
him with the technical aspects, which was a great move on his part,
even if it cost Ashkan a government job later.) More stories were
covered by other publications.

It started getting weird. Both Greenwald and Gellman held documents
back so they could publish them in their books. Jake Appelbaum, who
had not yet been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, was
working with Laura Poitras. He partnered with Spiegel to release an
implant catalog from the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations group. To
this day, I am convinced that that document was not in the Snowden
archives: that Jake got it somehow, and it was released under the
cover of Edward Snowden. I thought it was important enough that I
started writing about each item in that document in my blog: ”NSA
Exploit of the Week.” That got my website blocked by the DoD: I keep a
framed print of the censor’s message on my wall.

Perhaps the most surreal document disclosures were when artists
started writing fiction based on the documents. This was in 2016, when
the Intercept finally built a secure room in New York to house the
documents. By then, the documents were years out of date, and now
they’re over a decade out of date. (They were leaked in 2013, but most
of them were from 2012 or before.)

I ended up being something of a public ambassador for the
documents. When I got back from Rio, I gave talks at a private
conference in Woods Hole, the Berkman Center at Harvard, something
called the Congress and Privacy and Surveillance in Geneva, events at
both CATO and New America in DC, an event at the University of
Pennsylvania, an event at EPIC and a “Stop Watching Us” rally in DC,
the RISCS conference in London, the ISF in Paris, and…then…at the
IETF meeting in Vancouver in November 2013. (I remember little of
this; I am reconstructing it all from my calendar.)

What struck me at the IETF was the indignation in the room, and the
calls to action. And there was action, across many fronts. We
technologists did a lot to help secure the Internet, for example.

The government didn’t do its part, though. Despite the public outcry,
investigations by Congress, pronouncements by President Obama, and
federal court rulings. I don’t think much has changed. The NSA
canceled a program here and a program there, and it is now more public
about defense. But I don’t think it is any less aggressive about
either bulk or targeted surveillance. Certainly its government
authorities haven’t been restricted in any way. And surveillance
capitalism is still the business model of the Internet.

And Edward Snowden? We were in contact for a while on Signal. I
visited him once in Moscow, in 2016. And I had him do an annual guest
lecture to my class at Harvard for a few years, remotely by
Jitsi. Afterwards, I would hold a session where I promised to answer
every question he would evade or not answer, explain every response he
did give, and be candid in a way that someone with an outstanding
arrest warrant simply cannot. Sometimes I thought I could channel
Snowden better than he could.

But now it’s been a decade. Everything he knows is old and out of
date. Everything we know is old and out of date. The NSA suffered an
even worse leak of its secrets by the Russians, under the guise of the
Shadow Brokers, in 2016 and 2017. The NSA has rebuilt. It again has
capabilities we can only surmise.

3. Stephen Farrell: IETF and Internet Technical community reaction

In 2013, the IETF and, more broadly, the Internet technical, security and
privacy research communities, were surprised by the surveillance and attack
efforts exposed by the Snowden revelations. [timeline] While the
potential for such was known, it was the scale and pervasiveness of the
activities disclosed that was alarming and, I think it fair to say, quite
annoying, for very many Internet engineers.

As for the IETF’s reaction, informal meetings during the July 2013 IETF meeting
in Berlin indicated that IETF participants considered that these revelations
showed that we needed to do more to improve the security and privacy properties
of IETF protocols, and to help ensure deployments made better use of the
security and privacy mechanisms that already existed. In August, the IETF setup
a new mailing list [perpass] that ended up being a useful venue for triaging
proposals for work on these topics. At the November 2013 IETF meeting, there
was a lively and very well attended plenary session [plenary-video] on
“hardening the Internet” against such attacks, followed by a “birds of a
feather” [BoF-session] devoted to more detailed discussion of possible
actions in terms of new working groups, protocols and best-current-practice
(BCP) documents that could help improve matters. This was followed in
February/March 2014 by a joint IAB/W3C workshop on “strengthening the Internet
against pervasive monitoring” [STRINT] held in London and attended by 150
engineers (still the only IAB workshop in my experience where we needed a
wait-list for people after capacity for the venue was reached!). The STRINT
workshop report was eventually published as [RFC7687] in 2015, but in the
meantime work proceeded on a Best Current Practice (BCP) document codifying
that the IETF community considered that “pervasive monitoring is an attack”
[RFC7258] (aka BCP188). The IETF last-call discussion for that short
document included more than 1000 emails – while there was broad agreement on
the overall message, a number of IETF participants considered enshrining that
message in the RFC series and IETF processes was controversial. In any case the
BCP was published in May 2014. The key statement on which rough consensus was
reached is in the abstract of RFC7258 and says “Pervasive monitoring is a
technical attack that should be mitigated in the design of IETF protocols,
where possible.” That document has since been referenced [refs-to-7258] by
many IETF working groups and RFCs as justifying additional work on security and
privacy. Throughout that period and beyond, the repercussions of the Snowden
revelations remained a major and ongoing agenda item for both of the IETF’s
main technical management bodies – the IAB and the IESG (on which I served at
the time).

So far, I’ve really only described the processes with which the IETF dealt with
the attacks, but there was of course also much technical work started by IETF
participants that was at least partly motivated by the Snowden revelations.

In November 2013 a working group was established to document better practices
for using TLS in applications [UTA] so that deployments would be less at risk
in the face of some of the attacks related to stripping TLS or having
applications mis-use TLS APIs or parameters. Similar work was done to update
recommendations for use of cryptography in other protocols in the [CURDLE]
working group later. The CURDLE working group was to an extent created to
enable use of a set of new elliptic curves that had been documented by the IRTF
crypto forum research group. [CFRG] That work in turn had been partly
motivated by (perhaps ultimately unfounded) concerns about elliptic curves
defined in NIST standards, following the DUAL_EC_DRBG debacle [dual-ec]
(described further below) where a
NIST random number generator had been deliberately engineered to produce output
that could be vulnerable to NSA attack.

Work to develop a new version of TLS was started in 2014, mainly due to
concerns that TLSv1.2 and earlier version implementations had been shown to be
vulnerable to a range of attacks over the years. The work to develop TLSv1.3
[RFC8446] also however aimed to encrypt more of the handshake so as to
expose less information to network observers – a fairly direct result of the
Snowden revelations. Work to further improve TLS in this respect continues
today using the so-called encrypted client hello (ECH) [I-D.ietf-tls-esni]
mechanism to remove one of the last privacy leaks present in current TLS.

Work on ECH was enabled by significant developments to encrypt DNS traffic,
using DNS over TCP (DoT) [RFC7858] or DNS over HTTP (DoH) [RFC8484] which also started as a result of
the Snowden revelations. Prior to that, privacy hadn’t really been considered
when it came to DNS data or (more importantly) the act of accessing DNS data.
The trend towards encrypting DNS traffic represents a significant change for
the Internet, both in terms of reducing cleartext, but also in terms of moving
points-of-control. The latter aspect was, and remains, controversial, but the
IETF did it’s job of defining new protocols that can enable better DNS privacy.
Work on HTTP version 2 [RFC7540] and QUIC [RFC9000] further demonstrates
the trend in the IETF towards always-encrypting protocols as the new norm, at
least at and above the transport layer.

Of course, not all such initiatives bore fruit, for example attempts to define
a new MPLS encryption mechanism [I-D.farrelll-mpls-opportunistic-encrypt]
foundered due to a lack of interest and the existence of the already deployed
IEEE MACSEC scheme. But there has been a fairly clear trend towards trying to
remove cleartext from the Internet as a precursor to provide improved privacy
when considering network observers as attackers.

The IETF of course, forms only one part of the broader Internet technical
community, and there were many non-IETF activities triggered by the Snowden
revelations, a number of which also eventually resulted in new IETF work to
standardise better security and privacy mechanisms developed elsewhere.

In 2013, the web was largely unencrypted despite HTTPS being relatively
usable and that was partly due to problems using the WebPKI at scale. The
Let’s Encrypt [LE] initiative was established in 2015 to try move the web
towards being fully encryted and has been extremely successful in helping
achieve that goal. Subsequently, the automation protocols developed for
Let’s Encrypt were standardised in the IETF’s ACME [ACME] working group.

In 2013, most email transport between mail servers was cleartext,
directly enabling some of the attacks documented in the Snowden documents.
Significant effort by major mail services and MTA software developers since
then have resulted in more than 90% of email being encrypted between mail
servers and various IETF protocols have been defined in order to improve that
situation, e.g., SMTP MTA Strict Transport Security (MTA-STS). [RFC8461]

Lastly, MAC addressees have historically been long-term fixed values visble to
local networks (and beyond), which enabled some tracking attacks that were
documented in the Snowden documents. [Toronto] The IEEE 802
standards group recognised this weakness and started work on MAC address
randomisation that in turn lead to the IETF’s [MADINAS] working group that
aims to ensure randomised MAC addresses can be used on the Internet without
causing unintentional harm.

In summary, the significantly large volume of technical work pursued in the
IETF and elsewhere as a result of the Snowden revelations has focussed on two
main things: decreasing the amount of plaintext that remains visible to network
observers and secondly reducing the number of long-term identifiers that enable
unexpected identification or re-identification of devices or users. This work
is not by any means complete, nor is deployment universal, but significant
progress has been made and the work continues even if the level of annoyance
at the attack has faded somewhat over time.

One should also note that there has been push-back against these improvements
in security and privacy and the changes they cause for deployments. That has
come from more or less two camps – those on whom these improvements force
change tend to react badly, but later figure out how to adjust. The second camp
being those who seemingly prefer not to strenghten security so as to for
example continue to achieve what they call “visibility” even in the face of the
many engineers who correctly argue that such an anti-encryption approach
inevitably leads to worse security overall. The recurring nature of this kind
of push-back is nicely illustrated by [RFC1984]. That informational document
was published in 1996 as an IETF response to an early iteration of the
perennial “encryption is bad” argument. In 2015, the unmodified 1996 text was
upgraded to a Best Current Practice (BCP200) as the underlying arguments have
not, and will not, change.

Looking back on all the above from a 2023 vantage point, I think that, as a
community of Internet engineers, we got a lot right, but that today there’s way
more that needs to be done to better protect the security and privacy of people
who use the Internet. In particular, we (the technical community) haven’t done
nearly as good a job at countering surveillance capitalism which has exploded
in the last decade. In part, that’s because many of the problems are outside of
the scope of bodies such as the IETF. For example, intrusive back-end sharing
of people’s data for advertising purposes can’t really be mitigated via
Internet protocols.

However, I also think that the real annoyance felt with respect to the Snowden
revelations is (in general) not felt nearly as much when it comes to the legal
but hugely privacy-invasive activities of major employers of Internet

It’s noteworthy that RFC7258 doesn’t consider that bad actors are limited to
governments; and personally, I think many advertising industry schemes for
collecting data are egregious examples of pervasive monitoring and hence ought
also be considered an attack on the Internet that ought be mitigated where
possible. However, the Internet technical community clearly hasn’t acted in
that way over the last decade.

Perhaps that indicates that Internet engineers and the bodies in which they
congregate need to place much more emphasis on standards for ethical behaviour
than has been the case for the first half-century of the Internet. And while
it would be good to see the current leaders of Internet bodies work to make
progress in that regard, at the time of writing, it sadly seems more likely that
government regulators will be the ones to try force better behaviour. That of
course comes with a significant risk of having regulations that stymie the kind
of permissionless innovation that characterised many earlier Internet

So while we got a lot right in our reaction to Snowden’s revelations,
currently, we have a “worse” Internet. Nonetheless, I do still hope to see a
sea-change there, as the importance of real Internet security and privacy for
people becomes utterly obvious to all, even the most hard core capitalists and
government signals intelligence agencies. That may seem naive, but I remain
optimistic that as a fact-based community we (and eventually our employers)
will recognise that the lesser risk is to honestly aim to provide the best
security and privacy practically possible.

4. Farzaneh Badii: Did Snowden’s revelations help with protecting human rights on the Internet?

It is very difficult to scientifically measure the effect of Snowden’s
revelations on human rights and the Internet. Anecdotally, we have
been witnessing dominant regulatory and policy approaches that impact
technologies and services that are at the core of protecting human
rights on the Internet. (A range of European Union laws that aims to
address online safety or concentration of data. There are many more
regulations that have an impact on the Internet.[Masnick2023]) There
has been little progress in fixing technical and policy issues that
help enable human rights. Snowden revelations did not have a
revolutionary effect on our approach towards not using policies and
technical means that have an effect on human rights, such as freedom
of expression, freedom of association and assembly and privacy. It did
not decrease the number of Internet shutdowns, nor the eagerness of
authoritarian (and even to some extent democratic countries) to
territorialize the Internet. Perhaps the revelations helped with the
evolution of some technical and policy aspects.

After Snowden’s revelations 10 years ago, engineers and advocates at
the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) responded in a few
ways. One prominent response was the issuance of a Best Current
Practice document, “Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack” [RFC7258] by
Farrell and Tschofenig. The responses to Snowden revelations did not
mean that IETF had lost sight of issues such as privacy and
surveillance. There were instances of resistance to surveillance in
the past by engineers (we do not delve into how successful that was in
protecting human rights). But historically, many engineers believed
that widespread and habitual surveillance was too expensive to be
practical. The revelations proved them wrong.

Rights-centered activists were also involved with the IETF before the
revelations. For example, staff from Center for Democracy and
Technology (CDT) was undertaking work at the IETF (and was a member of
the Internet Architecture Board) and held workshops about the
challenges of creating privacy protective protocols and systems. The
technical shortcomings that were exploited by the National Security
Agency to carry out mass-scale surveillance were recognized by the
IETF before the Snowden revelations [Garfinkel1995],[RFC6462]. In
2012, Joy Liddicoat and Avri Doria wrote a report at Internet Society
which extensively discussed the processes and principles of human
rights and Internet protocols [Doria2012].

Perhaps the Snowden revelations brought more attention to the IETF and
its work as it related to important issues, such as privacy and
freedom of expression. It might have also expedited and helped with
more easily convening the Human Rights Protocol Considerations
research group in the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). Co-chaired
by Niels ten Oever (who worked at Article 19 at the time) and Internet
governance activist Avri Doria, the Internet Research Task Force in
July 2015 chartered a Research Group on “Human Rights Protocol
Considerations” (the HRPC RG). The charter of the HRPC RG stated that
the group was established: “to research whether standards and
protocols can enable, strengthen or threaten human rights, as defined
in the UDHR and theInternational Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights (ICCPR).”

During the past decades, a few successful strides were made to create
protocols that, when and if implemented, aim at protecting privacy of
the users, as well as help with reducing pervasive surveillance. These
efforts were in keeping with the consensus of the IETF found in RFC
7258. Sometimes these protocols have anti-censorship qualities as
well. A few examples immediately come to mind: 1) Encryption of DNS
queries (for example DNS over HTTPS); 2) ACME protocol underpinning
the Lets Encrypt initiative and 3) Registration Data Access Protocol
[RFC8056].(It is debatable that RDAP had anything to do with
Snowden revelations but it is still a good example and is finally
being implemented.)

DNS Queries over HTTPS protocol aimed to encrypt DNS queries. Four
years after RFC 7258, DoH was developed to tackle both active and
passive monitoring of DNS queries. It is also a tool that can help
with combatting censorship. Lets Encrypt was not an Internet protocol,
but it was an initiative that aimed to encrypt the web and later on
some of the automation protocols were standardized in the IETF ACME
working group. The Registration Data Access Protocol could solve a
long term problem: redacting the domain name registrants (and IP
address holders) sensitive, personal data but at the same time
enabling legitimate access to the information. As to the work of HRPC
research group, it has so far issued [RFC8280] by ten Oever and
Cath) and a number of informational Internet Drafts.

While we cannot really argue that all the movements and privacy
preserving protocols and initiatives that enable protecting human
rights at the infrastructure layer directly result from Snowden
revelations, I think it is safe to say that the revelations helped
with expediting the resolution of some of the “technical” hesitations
that had an effect on fixing Internet protocols that enabled
protection of human rights.

Unfortunately, Snowden revelations have not yet helped us meaningfully
with adopting a human rights approach. We can’t agree on prioritizing
human rights in our Internet communities for a host of reasons. This
could be due to: 1) human rights are sometimes in conflict with each
other 2) it is simply not possible to mitigate the human right
violation through the Internet protocol 3) it is not obvious for the
engineers before the fact how the Internet protocol contributes to
enabling protection of human rights and how they can fix the problem
4) the protocol is already there but market, law and a host of other
societal and political issues do not allow for widespread

IETF did not purposefully take a long time to adopt protocols that
enabled human rights. There were technical and political issues that
created barriers. For example, the IETF community attempted a few
times before to create a protocol that would disclose the necessary
information of IP holders and domain name registrants while at the
same time protecting their data (CRIPS and IRIS are two
examples). However, it was not until RDAP was developed and the
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted that Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers had to consider instructing
registries and registrars to implement RDAP and its community had to
come up with a privacy compliant policy. Overall, a host of
regulatory and market incentives can halt or slow down the
implementation of human rights enabling protocols and implementation
could depend on other organizations with their own political and
stakeholder conflicts.

Sometimes the protocol is available, but the regulatory framework and
the market do not allow for implementation. One curious example of
this is sanctions and their effect on IP addresses of sanctioned
nations. Imagine if we argue that registration of IPv4 is affected by
sanctions because it is deemed as an economic resource and because of
scarcity and monetization. In theory, if we move to IPv6, we can solve
the problem of access to the resources because IPv6 is not a scarce
resource. However, as we know, adoption of IPv6 depends not only on
technical availability. Adoption of IPv6 won’t be the complete
solution either and depends on laws and policies and the market.

Sometimes there are arguments over implementation of a protocol
because as it is perceived, while it can protect freedom of expression
and reduce surveillance, it can hamper other human rights. For
instance, we still have doubts about implementing DNS over HTTPS
without seriously considering its contributions to fight with
censorship and bring encryption to DNS queries. The arguments against
implementation of DoH include protection of children online and lack
of law enforcement access to data.

Ironically, we advocate for connectivity and believe expressing
oneself on the Internet is a human right, but when a war erupts, we
resort to tools that impact that very concept. For example, some
believe via imposing sanctions on critical properties of the Internet,
we can punish the perpetrators of a war. The Regional Internet
Registries that are in charge of registration of IP addresses have
shown resilience to these requests. However, some tech-companies (-
for example Cogent [Roth2022]) have not shied away from not serving
sanctioned countries, even if it is over-compliance and could cause
disconnecting ordinary people.

Perhaps we can solve some of these problems by undertaking a thorough
impact assessment and contextualization to reveal how and why Internet
protocols affect human rights (something Fidler and I argued
for[Badii2021]). Contextualization and
impact assessment can reveal how each Internet protocol or each line
of code, in which systems, have an impact on which and whose human

The HRPC RG (which I am a part of) and the larger human rights and
policy analyst communities are still struggling to analyze legal,
social and market factors alongside the protocols to have a good
understanding of what has an impact and what has to be changed. It is
hard, but it is not impossible. If we thoroughly document and research
the lifecycle of an Internet protocol and contextualize it, we might
have a better understanding of how and if we can actually fix which
parts of the protocol in order to protect human rights.

Overall, the revelations did, to some extent, contribute to the
evolution of our ideas and perspectives. Our next step should be to
undertake research on the impact of Internet systems (including
Internet protocols) on human rights, promote the implementation of
protocols good for human rights through policy and advocacy and focus
on which technical parts we can standardize to help with more
widespread implementation of human rights enabling Internet protocols.

5. Steven M. Bellovin: Governments and Cryptography: The Crypto Wars

5.1. Historical Background

It’s not a secret: many governments in the world don’t like it when
people encrypt their traffic. More precisely, they like strong
cryptography for themselves but not for others, whether those others
are private citizens or other countries. But the history is longer and
more complex than that.

For much of written history, both governments and individuals used
cryptography to protect their messages. To cite just one famous
example, Julius Caesar is said to have encrypted messages by shifting
letters in the alphabet by 3 [Kahn1996]. In modern parlance, 3 was
the key, and each letter was encrypted with

  • C[i] = (P[i] + 3) mod 23

(In his day, J, U, and W did not exist in the Latin alphabet.) Known
Arabic writings on cryptanalysis go back to at least the 8th century;
their sophistication shows that encryption was reasonably commonly
used. In the 9th century, Abu Yusuf Ya’qub ibn ‘Ishaq aṣ-Ṣabbah
al-Kindh developed and wrote about frequency analysis as a way to
crack ciphers [Borda2011],[Kahn1996].

In an era of minimal literacy, though, there wasn’t that much use of
encryption, simply because most people could neither read nor
write. Governments used encryption for diplomatic messages, and
cryptanalysts followed close behind. The famed Black Chambers of the
Renaissance era read messages from many different governments, while
early cryptographers devised stronger and stronger ciphers
[Kahn1996]. In Elizabethan times in England, Sir Francis Walsingham’s
intelligence agency intercepted and decrypted messages from Mary,
Queen of Scots; these messages formed some of the strongest evidence
against her and eventually led to her execution [Kahn1996].

This pattern continued for centuries. In the United States, Thomas
Jefferson invented the so-called wheel cipher in the late 18th
century; it was reinvented about 100 years later by Etienne Bazeries
and used as a standard American military cipher well into World War II
[Kahn1996]. Jefferson and other statesmen of that era regularly used
cryptography when communicating with each other. An encrypted message
was even part of the evidence introduced in Aaron Burr’s 1807 trial
for treason [Kerr2020],[Kahn1996]. Edgar Allan Poe claimed that he
could cryptanalyze any message sent to him [Kahn1996].

The telegraph era upped the ante. In the U.S., just a year after
Samuel Morse deployed his first telegraph line between Baltimore and
Washington, his business partner, Francis Smith, published a codebook
to help customers protect their traffic from prying eyes
[Smith1845]. In 1870, Britain nationalized its domestic telegraph network;
in response, Robert Slater published a more sophisticated codebook
[Slater1870]. On the government side, Britain took advantage of its
position as the central node in the world’s international telegraphic
networks to read a great deal of traffic passing through the country
[Headrick1991],[Kennedy1971]. They used this ability strategically,
too—when war broke out in 1914, the British Navy cut Germany’s
undersea telegraph cables, forcing them to use radio; an intercept of
the so-called Zimmermann telegram, when cryptanalyzed, arguably led to
American entry into the war and thence to Germany’s defeat. Once the
U.S. entered the war, it required users of international telegraph
lines to deposit copies of the codebooks they used for compression, so
that censors could check messages for prohibited content [Kahn1996].

In Victorian Britain, private citizens, often lovers, used encryption
in newspapers’ Personal columns to communicate without their parents’
knowledge. Charles Wheatstone and Charles Babbage used to solve these
elementary ciphers routinely, for their own amusement [Kahn1996].

This pattern continued for many years. Governments regularly used
ciphers and codes, while other countries tried to break them; private
individuals would sometimes use encryption but not often, and rarely
well. But the two world wars marked a sea change, one that would soon
reverberate into the civilian world.

The first World War featured vast troop movements by all parties; this
in turn required a lot of encrypted communications, often by telegraph
or radio. These messages were often easily intercepted in
bulk. Furthermore, the difficulty of encrypting large volumes of
plaintext led to the development of a variety of mechanical encryption
devices, including Germany’s famed Enigma machine. World War II
amplified both trends. It also gave rise to machine-assisted
cryptanalysis, such as the United Kingdom’s bombes (derived from an
earlier Polish design) and Colossus machine, and the American’s device
for cracking Japan’s PURPLE system. The U.S. also used punch
card-based tabulators to assist in breaking other Japanese codes, such
as the Japanese Imperial Navy’s JN-25 [Kahn1996],[Rowlett1998].

These developments set the stage for the postwar SIGINT—Signals
Intelligence—environment. Many intra-government messages were sent by
radio, making them easy to intercept; advanced cryptanalytic machines
made cryptanalysis easier. Ciphers were getting stronger, though, and
government SIGINT agencies did not want to give up their access to
data. While there were undoubtedly many developments, two are well

The first involved CryptoAG, a Swedish (and later Swiss) manufacturer
of encryption devices. The head of that company, Boris Hagelin, was a
friend of William F. Friedman, a pioneering American
cryptologist. During the 1950s, CryptoAG sold its devices to other
governments; apparently at Friedman’s behest, Hagelin weakened the
encryption in a way that let the NSA read the traffic [Miller2020].

The story involving the British is less well-documented and less
clear. When some of Britain’s former colonies gained their
independence, the British government gave them captured, war surplus
Enigma machines to protect their own traffic. Some authors contend
that this was deceptive, in that these former colonies did not realize
that the British could read Enigma-protected traffic; others claim
that this was obvious but that these countries didn’t care: Britain
was no longer their enemy; it was neighboring countries they were
worried about. Again, though, this concerned governmental use of
encryption [Kahn1996],[Baldwin2022]. There was still little private

5.2. The Crypto Wars Begin

The modern era of conflict between individual’s desire for privacy and
government desires to read traffic began around 1972. The grain
harvest in the U.S.S.R. had failed; since relations between the Soviet
Union and the United States were temporarily comparatively warm, the
Soviet grain company— an arm of the Soviet government, of
course— entered into negotiations with private American
companies. Unknown to Americans at the time, Soviet intelligence was
intercepting the phone calls of the American negotiating teams. In
other words, private companies had to deal with state actors as a
threat. Eventually, U.S. intelligence learned of this, and came to a
realization: the private sector needed strong cryptography, too, to
protect American national interests [Broad1982],[Johnson1998]). This
underscored the need for strong cryptography to protect American
civilian traffic—but the SIGINT people were unhappy at the thought of
more encryption that they couldn’t break.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon was concerned about protecting its
unclassified data [Landau2014]. In 1973 and again in 1974, the
National Bureau of Standards (NBS) put out a call for a strong, modern
encryption algorithm. IBM submitted Lucifer, an internally developed
algorithm. It seemed quite strong, so NBS sent it off to the NSA to
get their take. The eventual design, which was adopted in 1976 as the
Data Encryption Standard (DES), differed in two important ways from
Lucifer. First, the so-called S-boxes, the source of the cryptologic
strength of DES, were changed, and were demonstrably not composed of
random integers. Many researchers alleged that the S-boxes contained
an NSA back door. It took 20 years for the truth to come out: the
S-boxes were in fact strengthened, not weakened. Most likely, IBM
independently discovered the attack now known as differential
cryptanalysis, though some scholars suspect that the NSA told them
about it. The non-random S-boxes protected against this attack. The
other change, though, was clearly insisted on by the NSA: the key size
was shortened, from Lucifer’s 112 bits to DES’s 56 bits. We now know
that the NSA wanted a 48-bit key size, while IBM wanted 64 bits; they
compromised at 56 bits.

Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, at Stanford University, wondered
about the 56-bit keys. In 1979, they published a paper demonstrating
that the U.S. government, but few others, could afford to build a
brute-force cracking machine, one that could try all 2^56 possible
keys to crack a message. NSA denied tampering with the design; a
Senate investigating committee found that that was correct, but did
not discuss the shortened key length issue.

This, however, was not Diffie and Hellman’s greatest contribution to
cryptology. A few years earlier, they published a paper inventing what
is now known as public key cryptography. In 1978, Ronald Rivest, Adi
Shamir, and Leonard Adelman devised the RSA algorithm, which made it
usable. (An NSA employee, acting on his own, sent a letter warning
that academic conferences on cryptology might violate U.S. export

Around the same time, George Davida at the University of Wisconsin
applied for a patent on a stream cipher; the NSA slapped a secrecy
order on the application. This barred him from even talking about his
invention. The publicity was devastating; the NSA had to back down.

The Crypto Wars had thus begun: civilians were inventing strong
encryption systems, and the NSA was tampering with them or trying to
suppress them. Bobby Inman, the then-director of the NSA, tried
creating a voluntary review process for academic papers, but very few
researchers were interested in participating [Landau1988].

There were few major public battles during the 1980s, because there
were few new major use cases for civilian cryptography during that
time. There was one notable incident, though: Shamir, Amos Fiat, and
Uriel Feige invented zero-knowledge proofs and applied for a US
patent. In response, the US Army slapped a secrecy order on the
patent. After a great deal of public outrage and intervention by, of
all organizations, the NSA, the order was lifted on very narrow
grounds: the inventors were not American, and had been discussing
their work all over the world [Landau1988].

In the 1990s, though, everything changed.

5.3. The Battle is Joined

There were three major developments in cryptography in the early
1990s. First, Phil Zimmerman released PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), a
package to encrypt email messages. In 1993, AT&T planned to release
the TSD-3600, an easy-to-use phone encryptor aimed at business
travelers. Shortly after that, the Netscape Corporation released SSL
(Secure Socket Layer) as a way to enable web-based commerce using
their browser and web server. All of these were seen as threats by the
NSA and the FBI.

PGP was, at least arguably, covered by what was known as ITAR, the
International Trafficking in Arms Regulations—under American law,
encryption software was regarded as a weapon, so exports required a
license. It was also alleged to infringe the patents on the RSA
algorithm. Needless to say, both issues were problematic for what was
intended to be open source software. Eventually, the criminal
investigation into Zimmerman’s role in the spread of PGP overseas was
dropped, but the threat of such investigations remained to deter

The TSD-3600 was another matter. AT&T was a major corporation that did
not want to pick a fight with the U.S. government, but international
business travelers were seen as a major market for the device. At the
government’s “request”, the DES chip was replaced with what was known
as the Clipper Chip. The Clipper chip used Skipjack, a cipher with
80-bit keys; it was thus much stronger against brute force attacks
than DES. However, it provided “key escrow”. Without going into any
details, the key escrow mechanism allowed U.S. government
eavesdroppers to consult a pair of (presumably secure) internal
databases and decrypt all communications protected by the chip. The
Clipper chip proved to be extremely unpopular with industry; that AT&T
Bell Labs’ Matt Blaze found a weakness in the design[Blaze1994], one
that let you use Skipjack without the key escrow feature didn’t help
its reputation.

The third major development, SSL, was even trickier. SSL was aimed at
e-commerce, and of course Netscape wanted to be able to sell its
products outside the US. That would require an export license, so they
made a deal with the government: non-American users would receive a
version that used 40-bit keys, a key length far shorter than what the
NSA had agreed to 20 years earlier. (To get ahead of the story: there
was a compromise mode of operation, wherein an export-grade browser
could use strong encryption when talking to a financial
institution. This hybrid mode led to cryptographic weaknesses
discovered some 20 years later[Adrian2015].)

Technologists and American industry pushed back. The IETF adopted the
Danvers Doctrine, described in [RFC3365]:

  • At the 32nd IETF held in Danvers, Massachusetts during April of 1995
    the IESG asked the plenary for a consensus on the strength of security
    that should be provided by IETF standards. Although the immediate
    issue before the IETF was whether or not to support “export” grade
    security (which is to say weak security) in standards, the question
    raised the generic issue of security in general.

  • The overwhelming consensus was that the IETF should standardize on the
    use of the best security available, regardless of national policies.
    This consensus is often referred to as the “Danvers Doctrine”.

Then American companies started losing business to their overseas
competitors, who did not have to comply with U.S. export laws. All of
this led to what seemed like a happy conclusion: the U.S. government
drastically loosened its export rules for cryptographic software. All
was well—or so it seemed…

5.5. Whither the IETF?

Signal intelligence agencies, not just the NSA, but its peers around
the globe- most major countries have their own—are not going to go
away. The challenges that have beset the NSA are common to all such
agencies, and their solutions are likely the same. The question is
what should be done to protect individual privacy. A number of strong
democracies, such as Australia and the United Kingdom, are already
moving to restrict encryption. Spurred on by complaints from the FBI
and other law enforcement agencies, the US Congress frequently
considers bills to do the same.

The IETF has long had a commitment to strong, ubiquitous
encryption. This is a good thing. It needs to continue, with
cryptography and other security features designed into protocols from
the beginning. But there is also a need for maintenance. Parameters
such as key lengths and modulus sizes age; a value that is acceptable
today may not be 10 years hence. (We’ve already seen apparent problems
from 1024-bit moduli specified in an RFC, an RFC that was not modified
when technology improved enough that attacking encryption based on
them had become feasible.[Adrian2015]) The IETF can do nothing about
the code that vendors ship or that sites use, but it can alert the
world that it thinks things have changed.

Cryptoagility is of increasing importance. In the next very few years,
we will have so-called post-quantum algorithms. Both protocols and key
lengths will need to change, perhaps drastically. Is the IETF ready?
What will happen to, say, DNSSEC if key lengths become drastically
longer? Backwards compatibility will remain important, but that, of
course, opens the door to other attacks. We’ve long thought about
them; we need to be sure that our mechanisms work.

We also need to worry more about metadata. General Michael Hayden,
former director of both the NSA and the CIA, once remarked, “We kill
people based on metadata” [Ferran2014]. But caution is necessary;
attempts to hide metadata can have side-effects. To give a trivial
example, Tor is quite strong, but if your exit node is in a different
country than you are in, web sites that use IP geolocation may present
their content in a language foreign to you. More generally, many
attempts to hide metadata involving trusting a different party; that
party may turn out to be untrustworthy or it may itself become a
target of attack. As another prominent IETFer has remarked,
“Insecurity is like entropy; you can’t destroy it but you can move it

Finally, the IETF must remember that its middle name is
“Engineering”. To me, one of the attributes of engineering is the art
of picking the right solution in an over-constrained
environment. Intelligence agencies won’t go away, nor will national
restrictions on cryptography. We have to pick the right path while
staying true to our principles.

6. Acknowledgments

Susan Landau added many valuable comments to Steve Bellovin’s essay.

This document was created at the behest of Eliot Lear, who also
cat herded and did some editing.

7. Security Considerations

Each or any of the authors may have forgotten or omitted things
or gotten things wrong. We’re sorry if that’s the case, but that’s
in the nature of a look-back such as this. Such flaws almost
certainly won’t worsen security or privacy though.

9. Informative References

IETF, “Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME)”, , <>.
Adrian, D., Bhargavan, K., Durumeric, Z., Gaudry, P., Green, M., Halderman, J. A., and N. Heninger, “Imperfect Forward Secrecy: How Diffie-Hellman Fails in Practice.”, Proceedings of the 22th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) , , <>.
Badiei, F., Fidler, B., and The Pennsylvania State University Press, “The Would-Be Technocracy: Evaluating Efforts to Direct and Control Social Change with Internet Protocol Design”, Journal of Information Policy, vol. 11, pp. 376-402, DOI 10.5325/jinfopoli.11.2021.0376, , <>.
Baldwin, M., “Did Britain Sell Enigmas Postwar?”, Dr. Enigma (blog) , , <>.
Blaze, M., “Did Britain Sell Enigmas Postwar?”, Dr. Enigma (blog) , , <>.
IETF, “IETF 88 BoF session”, , <>.
Borda, M., “Fundamentals in Information Theory and Coding. Berlin”, Springer , .
Broad, W. J., “Evading the Soviet Ear at Glen Cove”, Science 217 (3): 910-11, .
IETF, “IRTF Crypto Forum (CFRG)”, , <>.
Checkoway, S., Maskiewicz, J., Garman, C., Fried, J., Cohney, S., Green, M., Heninger, N., Weinmann, R. P., Rescorla, E., and Hovav Shacham, “A Systematic Analysis of the Juniper Dual EC Incident”, Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security 468-79, , <>.
IETF, “curdle WG”, , <>.
Doria, A. and J. Liddicoat, “Human Rights and Internet Protocols: Comparing Processes and Principles”, The Internet Society , , <>.
Bernstein, D., Lange, T., and R. Niederhagen, “Dual EC, A standardized back door”, , <>.
Ferran, L., “Ex-NSA Chief: “We Kill People Based on Metadata””, ABC News , , <>.
Garfinkel, S., “GPG: Pretty Good Privacy”, O’Reilly and Associates , .
Greenwald, G., “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily”, .
Headrick, D. R., “The Invisible Weapon: Telecommunications and International Politics, 1851–1945”, Oxford University Press , .
Farrel, A. and S. Farrell, “Opportunistic Security in MPLS Networks”, Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-farrelll-mpls-opportunistic-encrypt-05, , <>.
Rescorla, E., Oku, K., Sullivan, N., and C. A. Wood, “TLS Encrypted Client Hello”, Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-ietf-tls-esni-16, , <>.
Johnson, T. R., “American Cryptology During the Cold War, 1945-1989; Book III: Retrenchment and Reform”, NSA , , <>.
Kahn, D., “The Code Breakers, 2nd Edition”, Scribner , .
Kennedy, P. M., “Imperial Cable Communications and Strategy, 1870-1914”, English Historical Review 86 (341): 728-52, , <>.
Kerr, O. S., “Decryption Originalism: The Lessons of Burr.”, Harvard Law Review 134:905, .
Kostyuk, N. and S. Landau, “Dueling Over DUAL_EC_DRBG: The Consequences of Corrupting a Cryptographic Standardization Process”, Harvard National Security Journal 13 (2): 224-84, , <>.
Landau, S., “Zero Knowledge and the Department of Defense”, Notices of the American Mathematical Society [Special Article Series] 35 (1): 5-12, .
Landau, S., “Under the Radar: NSA’s Efforts to Secure Private-Sector Telecommunications Infrastructure”, Journal of National Security Law & Policy Vol 7, No. 3, .
Aas, J., Barnes, R., Case, B., Durumeric, Z., Eckersley, P., Flores-L{‘o}pez, A., Halderman, A., Hoffman-Andrews, J., Kasten, J., Rescorla, E., Shoen, S., and B. Warren, “Let’s Encrypt – an automated certificate authority to encrypt the entire web”, , <>.
Levy, S., “Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government—Saving Privacy in the Digital Age”, Viking , .
Masnick, M., “The Unintended Consequences of Internet Regulation”, , <>.
Miller, G., “The Intelligence Coup of the Century”, The Washington Post , , <>.
Moore, H. D., “CVE-2015-7755: Juniper ScreenOS Authentication Backdoor”, Rapid7 Blog , , <>.
IETF, “perpass mailing list”, , <>.
IETF, “IETF 88 Pleary video”, , <>.
IETF, “References to RFC7258”, , <>.
IAB and IESG, “IAB and IESG Statement on Cryptographic Technology and the Internet”, BCP 200, RFC 1984, DOI 10.17487/RFC1984, , <>.
Schiller, J., “Strong Security Requirements for Internet Engineering Task Force Standard Protocols”, BCP 61, RFC 3365, DOI 10.17487/RFC3365, , <>.
Cooper, A., “Report from the Internet Privacy Workshop”, RFC 6462, DOI 10.17487/RFC6462, , <>.
Farrell, S. and H. Tschofenig, “Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack”, BCP 188, RFC 7258, DOI 10.17487/RFC7258, , <>.
Newton, A., Ellacott, B., and N. Kong, “HTTP Usage in the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)”, STD 95, RFC 7480, DOI 10.17487/RFC7480, , <>.
Hollenbeck, S. and N. Kong, “Security Services for the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)”, STD 95, RFC 7481, DOI 10.17487/RFC7481, , <>.
Blanchet, M., “Finding the Authoritative Registration Data (RDAP) Service”, RFC 7484, DOI 10.17487/RFC7484, , <>.
Belshe, M., Peon, R., and M. Thomson, Ed., “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Version 2 (HTTP/2)”, RFC 7540, DOI 10.17487/RFC7540, , <>.
Farrell, S., Wenning, R., Bos, B., Blanchet, M., and H. Tschofenig, “Report from the Strengthening the Internet (STRINT) Workshop”, RFC 7687, DOI 10.17487/RFC7687, , <>.
Hu, Z., Zhu, L., Heidemann, J., Mankin, A., Wessels, D., and P. Hoffman, “Specification for DNS over Transport Layer Security (TLS)”, RFC 7858, DOI 10.17487/RFC7858, , <>.
Gould, J., “Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) and Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Status Mapping”, RFC 8056, DOI 10.17487/RFC8056, , <>.
ten Oever, N. and C. Cath, “Research into Human Rights Protocol Considerations”, RFC 8280, DOI 10.17487/RFC8280, , <>.
Rescorla, E., “The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol Version 1.3”, RFC 8446, DOI 10.17487/RFC8446, , <>.
Margolis, D., Risher, M., Ramakrishnan, B., Brotman, A., and J. Jones, “SMTP MTA Strict Transport Security (MTA-STS)”, RFC 8461, DOI 10.17487/RFC8461, , <>.
Hoffman, P. and P. McManus, “DNS Queries over HTTPS (DoH)”, RFC 8484, DOI 10.17487/RFC8484, , <>.
Iyengar, J., Ed. and M. Thomson, Ed., “QUIC: A UDP-Based Multiplexed and Secure Transport”, RFC 9000, DOI 10.17487/RFC9000, , <>.
Hollenbeck, S. and A. Newton, “Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Query Format”, STD 95, RFC 9082, DOI 10.17487/RFC9082, , <>.
Hollenbeck, S. and A. Newton, “JSON Responses for the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)”, STD 95, RFC 9083, DOI 10.17487/RFC9083, , <>.
Roth, E., “Internet backbone provider shuts off service in Russia”, The Verge , , <>.
Rowlett, F. B., “The Story of MAGIC: Memoirs of an American Cryptologic Pioneer”, Aegean Park Press , .
Slater, R., “Telegraphic Code, to Ensure Secresy in the Transmission of Telegrams, First Edition.”, W.R. Gray , , <>.
Smith, F. O., “The Secret Corresponding Vocabulary, Adapted for Use to Morse’s Electro-Magnetic Telegraph: And Also in Conducting Written Correspondence, Transmitted by the Mails, or Otherwise”, Thurston, Isley & Co , , <>.
IETF, “A W3C/IAB workshop on Strengthening the Internet Against Pervasive Monitoring (STRINT)”, , <>.
Wikimedia foundation, “Global surveillance disclosures (2013–present)”, , <>.
National Public Radio, “Canada Used Airport Wi-Fi To Track Travelers, Snowden Leak Alleges”, n.d., <>.
IETF, “Using TLS in Applications working group (UTA) working group”, , <>.

Authors’ Addresses

Stephen Farrell

Trinity College, Dublin


Farzaneh Badii

Digital Medusa

Bruce Schneier

Harvard University

United States of America

Steven M. Bellovin

Columbia University

United States of America

Read More