WIKIPEDIA TAKES STEPS TO KEEP NSA SNOOPS OUT
August 03, 2013
(NATIONAL) Wikipedia, the online dictionary is taking steps to make its site ‘unsnoopable’ to the National Security Agency (NSA) following revelations that its site users were being spied on, according to a report by Russian Television (RT).
Screen shot of Wikipedia home page.
The new report says privacy enhancing measures will include the use of secure encryption - meaning the introduction of HTTPS security protocol on its website - for logged-in users to minimize the chances of eavesdropping.
A report by the British newspaper The Guardian revealed that the NSA was monitoring the users of Wikipedia, which is one of the world's most popular websites.
In response to that, the organization’s co-founder, Jimmy Wales announced that Wikipedia would be introducing security measures to protect site visitors beginning on August 21.
A statement published on Wikipedia's website says it, "Believes strongly in protecting the privacy of its readers and editors. Recent leaks of the NSA’s XKeyscore program have prompted our community members to push for the use of HTTPS by default for the Wikimedia projects."
HTTPS protocol has some ability to shield against eavesdropping as it uses encryption of data between a computer server and the internet user, although some consider it quite fallible.
A post on the RT website about the story from someone identifying themselves as from Baneki Privacy Lab said:
HTTPS "Is basically broken in cryptographic terms. Certainly, it's vulnerable to NSA-level threat vectors. As such, touting it as "anti-NSA' magical crypto dust is actually pretty irresponsible. Overhyping known-vulnerable encryption technologies is a common - and nasty - sort of evil. It must be rejected when found, and refuted with facts. Real encryption works; broken encryption simply provides false "security" in thereby increases the risk of bad outcomes."