NSA and ECC

N

I’ve been reading up recently on the revelations that the NSA is subverting implementations/service providers to undermine various internet crypto standards (see this: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-gchq-encryption-codes-security).

Now this has all of the basic hallmarks of a ‘scare campaign’ where people are led to believe that crypto techniques/mathmatics themselves are insecure rather than the truth that the NSA is attacking the services or implementations directly (much easier). Therefore I was ready to write this off as ‘not relevant’ to an open source peer reviewed protocol like Bitcoin.

However, something Bruce Schneier (someone intimately familiar with the mathematics behind crypto algorithms) said has given me some concern. He is suggesting that the ECC constants have been manipulated to facilitate subversion (see his blog comment here: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/09/the_nsa_is_brea.html#c1675929). For his full essay, go here: https://www.schneier.com/essay-446.html.

Any thoughts on implications here we need to be concerned about?

POD Research: Interesting Read:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=289795.0

Social

In this relentless transformation of money, there are some casualties. Those who do not have bank accounts and have no access to the world of electronic money must rely on cash to live. But in a universe where bits are king, cash is an expensive commodity — and having to depend on it will trap people in poverty. So the money revolution is likely to widen the gap between rich and poor. Revolutions are rarely fair, often unpredictable, but usually irresistible. The rise of Payment Coin (POD) is no exception. Take part today, tomorrow maybe too late.