Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords

Declan McCullagh
CNet News
July 25, 2013

The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.

If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.

“I’ve certainly seen them ask for passwords,” said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We push back.”

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.’”

Full story here.

Related Posts

Justice Department Memo: Government Can Kill Ameri... Michael Isikoff NBC News Feb 5, 2013 A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of America...
Police use of ‘StingRay’ cellphone tracker require... By Tom JackmanSeptember 21 at 5:20 PM A device that tricks cellphones into sending it their location information and has been used quietly by poli...
Exposed: Military contractors hired to create fake... Jonathan Benson Natural News Friday, September 2, 2011 (NaturalNews) A secret campaign to take out groups and organizations that oppose the pol...
White House Says It Will Veto House Efforts to Scu... Josh Smith National Journal April 5, 2011 The White House threatened on Monday to veto any bill from Congress that would scuttle new rules ...
Report: ‘Fast and Furious’ gun turns up at Mexico ... Mario Trujillo The Hill January 2, 2014 A gun from the failed U.S. operation known as “Fast and Furious” turned up at the scene of a shootout b...

Comments are closed.