September 5, 2013 Last Updated 3:44 pm

The Guardian, NYT and ProPublica break major story about encryption and the NSA based on Snowden files

In yet another devastating story to come out of the Edward Snowden files, The Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica posted another major story to come out of the files obtained by Edward Snowden.

Writing for the Guardian, James Ball, Julian Borger and Glenn Greenwald said “US and British intelligence agencies have successfully cracked much of the online encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their personal data, online transactions and emails.”

“The files show that the National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have broadly compromised the guarantees that internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, online banking and medical records would be indecipherable to criminals or governments,” The Guardian reported.

“For the past decade, N.S.A. has led an aggressive, multipronged effort to break widely used Internet encryption technologies,” the NYT reported a 2010 memo as stating. “Cryptanalytic capabilities are now coming online. Vast amounts of encrypted Internet data which have up till now been discarded are now exploitable.”

ProPublica added an a secondary post that explains their rationale for reporting the story.

“he story, we believe, is an important one. It shows that the expectations of millions of Internet users regarding the privacy of their electronic communications are mistaken. These expectations guide the practices of private individuals and businesses, most of them innocent of any wrongdoing. The potential for abuse of such extraordinary capabilities for surveillance, including for political purposes, is considerable. The government insists it has put in place checks and balances to limit misuses of this technology. But the question of whether they are effective is far from resolved and is an issue that can only be debated by the people and their elected representatives if the basic facts are revealed,” ProPublica editors wrote.