#FBI Others Have Probably Compromised #Surespot App

Posted: June 11, 2015 in Tech

digital locksIt’s beginning to look like a US-based encrypted communications platform may be headed for a Lavabit-esque future. As we’re well aware, agencies like the FBI and NSA are firmly opposed to encrypted communications, which is something Surespot — a text-messaging service — offers.

Surespot has been in the news lately, thanks to terrorist groups utilizing encrypted services to keep their communications secret. UK’s Channel Four looked into Surespot and found that 115 “ISIS-linked” people “appear” to have used the service in the “past six months.” Because UK 4 wasn’t able to get this information from Surespot directly (because Surespot doesn’t store personally identifiable information or users’ communications), it has only been able to infer this from messages on social media services that refer to Surespot.

There’s good reason to believe this is true. A recent plea agreement by a 17-year-old Virginia native charged with providing material support to ISIS (via instructions on how to use Bitcoin to provide anonymous donations) specifically mentions Surespot.

In or about late November or early December 2014, the defendant put RN [co-conspirator] in touch with an ISIL supporter located outside of the United States via Surespot in order to facilitate RN’s travel to Syria to join and fight with ISIL.

What the government could do is try to force the company into creating a shared master key, which would allow agencies to decrypt messages. The FBI — which has been most vocal about “going dark” — may not be able to do this at present, but it is working towards being granted the legal power to do so. There’s good reason to believe this is true. A recent plea agreement by a 17-year-old Virginia native charged with providing material support to ISIS (via instructions on how to use Bitcoin to provide anonymous donations) specifically mentions Surespot.

Full Story @ [TechDirt]

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  1. […] #FBI Others Have Probably Compromised #Surespot App […]

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