A 2010 report briefing the UK on the accomplishment of the NSA reveals that the organization has been aggressively trying to crack widely used internet encryption technologies.
Via the AP:
The National Security Agency, working with the British government, has secretly been unraveling encryption technology that billions of Internet users rely upon to keep their electronic messages and confidential data safe from prying eyes, according to published reports based on internal U.S. government documents.
The NSA has bypassed or altogether cracked much of the digital encryption used by businesses and everyday Web users, according to reports Thursday in The New York Times, Britain’s Guardian newspaper and the nonprofit news website ProPublica. The reports describe how the NSA invested billions of dollars since 2000 to make nearly everyone’s secrets available for government consumption.
In doing so, the NSA built powerful supercomputers to break encryption codes and partnered with unnamed technology companies to insert “back doors” into their software, the reports said. Such a practice would give the government access to users’ digital information before it was encrypted and sent over the Internet.
Security experts claim that such efforts would debilitate internet security systems, leaving everyday web users vulnerable to hackers.
You know, hackers such as the staff at the NSA.