Did NSA breaks the Thomas A. Drake hushmail messages?

April 18, 2010

Thomas Andrews Drake is accused of copying and storing classified documents at his home and then destroying the documents and lying to investigators when authorities found out.

Did the authorities used the messages he send to the unidentified journalist on his account at Hushmail or they used the archives at his home ?

Since its debut in 1999, Hushmail has dominated a unique market niche for highly-secure webmail with its innovative, client-side encryption engine.

Hushmail uses industry-standard cryptographic and encryption protocols (OpenPGP and AES 256) to scramble the contents of messages stored on their servers. They also host the public key needed for other people using encrypted email services to send secure messages to a Hushmail account.(From Ryan Singel’s Encrypted E-Mail Company Hushmail Spills to Feds – November 7, 2007)

James Bamford, who has written three trailblazing books on NSA operations and misdeeds since 1980, said many questions remain unanswered about “what kind of investigation was done,” such as whether government agents tapped Gorman’s conversations with a court order or not.

“If they had his e-mails,” he said in a brief interview, “they wouldn’t need a separate subpoena for hers.”

Drake’s alleged complaints about NSA overspending in its “Trailblazer” program weren’t unusual, Bamford said.
From Jeff Stein’s Government could read alleged NSA leaker’s encrypted e-mails )

Drake faces up to 40 years in prison.

It’s very unusual for the government to bring a case like this, and it’s telling that the charges do not include the act of actually leaking classified information. That may be an effort to prevent Drake from introducing sensitive information about the program at trial — which is one reason why these types of cases are rarely brought in the first place. Or, perhaps, prosecutors agreed not to charge Drake with the most serious charge provided he provide explicit detail about everything he did. (NSA Employee Indicted for ‘Trailblazer’ Leaks)


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