"The intelligence coup of the century"

For decades, the read the encrypted communications of allies and adversaries exploiting backdoors in silicon chips.


Free and open-source silicon will allow everybody to audit the full chip design, from netlists down to layout.

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@fsi As much as I'd like to believe open-source silicon might help with that ...

... the story we're looking at regards *mechanical* encryption, with engineers who worked on that directly failing *over decades* to detect engineered-in weaknesses. (With a few notable exceptions.)

The complexity of silicon + software is ... greater. As is the likelihood of concealing weaknesses and backdoors.



Quoting the Washington Post:

* "Crypto’s shift to **electronic** products [..]. Foreign governments clamored for systems that seemed clearly superior to the old clunky mechanical devices but in fact were **easier** for U.S. spies to read."

* "a **circuit-based** system could be made to appear that it was producing endless streams of randomly generated characters, while in reality it would repeat itself at short enough intervals for experts [..] to **crack** the pattern."

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