In the modern era, there is great convergence in the technologies used by friendly nations and by hostile ones. Signals intelligence agencies find themselves penetrating the technologies that they also at times must protect. To ease this tension, the United States and its partners have relied on an approach sometimes called Nobody But Us, or NOBUS: target communications mechanisms using unique methods accessible only to the United States. This paper examines how the NOBUS approach works, its limits, and the challenging matter of what comes next.
Gary Belvin is an Associate with the Cyber Security Project. He works full time as an engineer on the Google security team where he works on data center security and the End to End project to “make evil expensive." These projects provide easy, robust, encrypted, and authenticated services to all Google users. Prior to Google, he worked at the National Security Agency upgrading encryption protocols and developing software. He also provides pro-bono security consultations to humanitarian nongovernmental organizations. Mr. Belvin received an undergraduate degree in computer engineering from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and graduate degrees in security informatics and national security policy from the Johns Hopkins University. His graduate work on encrypted text messaging secures Silent Circle messages and helped popularize a key updating technique used by Signal and TextSecure.Last Updated: Jul 27, 2017, 12:03pm