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Twitter toughens encryption to thwart snooping

ANI | Last Updated: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 16:49

Sydney: Twitter has used an `impossible` mathematical problem to protect its users from electronic snooping.

The problem was first discovered by a British secret agency GCHQ.

According to a website, Twitter said that `perfect forward secrecy` (PFS) was now live on all its services.

The move is intended to make it more difficult for data to be collected on its users without going through legal channels.

Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group (ORG), said it was a `policy move` after revelations about mass surveillance by GCHQ and the American National Security Agency (NSA), the report said.

In June it was revealed that GCHQ was using a project called Tempora to indiscriminately scoop data from fibre optic cables entering and leaving the UK, it added.

The maths involved makes it almost impossible to calculate the private key from the public one.

But if an attacker acquires a company`s private key it can read anything sent to and from that company`s servers.

According to the report, the so-called "Diffie-Hellman" method used by Twitter was first discovered by GCHQ analysts in the early 70s.

The method however remained classified until it was independently patented by a pair of American cryptographers.

First Published: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 16:49
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