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back to article How much did NSA pay to put a backdoor in RSA crypto? Try $10m – report

The mystery of why RSA would use a flawed, NSA-championed algorithm as the default random number generator for several of its encryption products appears to be solved, and the answer is utterly banal, if true: the NSA paid it to. Reuters reports that RSA received $10m from the NSA in exchange for making the agency-backed Dual …

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A different era?

True, although back then the NSA had a lot more respectability. RSA might have honestly thought the NSA was recommending the algorithm to help protect national interests, not undermine them. It's a bit naive today to ask "Why would the NSA want to work against us to weaken our encryption?" knowing what we know now, but back then?

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ACx

Yeah. What you do is use the word "patriot". For an American its like a magic word that suspends brain activity and relaxes the rectum.

And no, Im not joking. just look in to American schools. They teach allegiance to the flag like christians teach the good book. American children are literally brainwashed into believing in American supremacy. Such that, if you question that allegiance and patriotism you get a fairly disproportionate reaction. So, to get otherwise decent people to go along with questionable government policies, all they have to do is question their patriotism.

Frankly, Im surprised it cost the NSA $10M.

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Facepalm

@Fill Re: A different era?

I recommed _this_ lock/key system, which I developed, for you to use in your worldwided premises protection system. You have doubts and questions? I'm so convinced that I'll give you $10 million to use it. Oh, I see that you are now convinced that it's the best choice.

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Re: @Fill A different era?

I imagine it more went along the lines of "Here's a new encryption algorithm we developed to boost security. If you use it, we'll give you $10,000,000 to cover development costs for inserting it into your encryption products and make implementation worthwhile for you."

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Re: @Fill A different era?

"I imagine it more went along the lines of "Here's a new encryption algorithm we developed to boost security. ..."

It was a random number generation method (Dual Elliptical). The NSA played on that it was what they used internally. Had nothing to do with the actual encryption methods, but a bad random number generator is going to defeat RSA.

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Re: @Fill A different era?

Er, right, I read that. My train of thought derailed when someone else grabbed my attention before I responded. Let me amend that, then... "Here's a new pseudorandom number generator we developed that provides a more random seed than other algorithms."

Have a vote-up for catching my derp.

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Boffin

I remember reading about this back in the 1990s; and in the days of BBSs. If memory serves me correctly, there was another encryption scheme, similar to RSA called PGP (Pretty Good Privacy).

There was something that happened back then with the FBI being unable to crack PGP. The inventor was investigated by authorities; I think there was even an international case; Somewhere in Europe, that needed backdoor access. They engaged the FBI and perhaps the NSA also. I think the software developer's name was Philip Zimmerman.

I think PGP was an open-sourced project (One of the first), the NSA and FBI were unable to crack it, even with the sourcecode. Encryption technologies are protected from export, and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.

So RSA was born as a commercial product, that used some of the PGP technology.

Most of these types of suggestions occur through standards-bodies. Remember, SSL used to have keys for encryption that were only 128-bits. Then, as technology progressed, the standard became 256-bit, and then 512-bit. Some sites on the internet today, use 1024-bit encryption as well as 2048-bits.

If memory serves me correctly, the NSA and/or the FBI also had a say in how fast home computers would be allowed to get. I remember reading an article in Scientific American from the early 1990s, where IBM said they had the technology to develop CPUs that run up to 4GHz using RISC technology (competes with CISC; or what Intel/AMD primarily use.) However, this technology was never brought to market. CPUs today, can accomplish similar speeds with multiple cores. Parallel processing makes it more difficult to brute-force decrypt.

Paired-Key encryption and password technology is one of the most secure. Passwords can be captured using keylogger software, or dictionary attacks.

My guess is that computer speeds plateaued as a result of Government intervention; and fear that home computers would, in time, have the computing power and ability to break encryption. Around this timeframe, Microsoft also introduced "Trusted Computing Platform". My guess, is the ability to use signed code, would be created as a Government project, and allow desktop machines to continue to advance in technology and speed, while also limiting the ability to use encryption tools.

Instead, Apple developed a new formfactor- tablets and smartphones and this stunned the industry, when everyone was seemingly collaborating to develop the next speed chips, on a single-core platform. The new iPhones and tablets solved a problem of selling hardware.

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P_0

American children are literally brainwashed into believing in American supremacy.

I'm sorry, where in the pledge of allegience is there any mention of American supremecy?

Such that, if you question that allegiance and patriotism you get a fairly disproportionate reaction.

Kind of like a TV presenter preferring not to where a poppy on her collar. Just watch the disproportionate reaction.

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Anonymous Coward

Now then Now then

Now we find that the NSA have really been a law unto themselves, without oversight in any shape or form.

A Government inside a Government where even the President of the USA has no idea what has been going on.

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Back in the 70s

IBM developed DES. The NSA recommended some changes which IBM implemented - changes to the S boxes and SHORTENING of the key length. For 15 years there was speculation that the NSA had recommended those changes to weaken it. When 'differential cryptanalysis' was publicly discovered, it was found that the NSA's changes had strengthed DES significantly versus IBM's original implementation - even despite the smaller key length.

Specifically the S box changes, had that not been made, would have left it very vulnerable to that type of attack. Thus demonstrating, that at that time at least, that the NSA was at least 15 years ahead of the state of the art in the public sphere. With all the funding they've received in the past decade, they're probably even further ahead now.

Given that the NSA had previously recommended changes that helped, without explaining why, maybe RSA thought (or wanted to believe) that this was the same sort of deal....though maybe the $10 million should have tipped them off that something was fishy.

I wonder if any RSA senior execs happened to get a bonus that year due to higher "profit" thanks to that $10 million payment. If that was the case, and I was an EMC shareholder, I'd be looking for a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit against those senior exec(s). Yeah, I know the lawyers are really the only winners in such lawsuits, but I'd be doing it more to take away the ill gotten gains of the senior exec(s) and make their lives hell than to try to cash in personally. Serve as a deterrent to the execs of other companies when faced with a similar decision to breach fiduciary duty in exchange for personal gain!

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When I were little

and my Dad was teaching at a university in the states, my brother refused to pledge allegiance to the flag wot wiv being english an all and was nearly kicked out of school as a result. It took some serious high level influence to talk some sense into those involved.

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"I'm sorry, where in the pledge of allegience is there any mention of American supremecy?"

The brainwashing isn't in that bit. It's in things like their 'history' lessons, where anything that shows the US in a less than perfect light is sanitised out. They are taught over and over that the US is better than any other nation and doesn't do anything wrong.

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Want to know a funny thing?

The pledge of allegiance, veneration of the flag and "the republic" as unitary entity all date from the end of the 19th century and were originally introduced by christian socialists, who wanted to break the bond between the states and their citizens in order to craft the perception of the USA as a unitary nation. At the time, US citizens identified themselves by their state, the state government was their primary means of representation, and the federal government was still a remote thing with little impact on their lives.

It's amusing that what was once a very left-wing project is now taken as a very right-wing ideal.

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Linux

correlation...

I must say the in my pre-caffeine haze, it sound plausible....

However, they would have banned quantum computers by now, as they really are a threat to these types of algorithms...

Parallel processing is a one-time cost...and I imagine these algorithms are low communication types...

So perhaps are right to be paranoid? M$ dreams up trusted computing NOT to stop Linux running, but as an NSA backdoor? I mean 2 birds one stone?

Perhaps the obvious thing about this whole affair, is we can't trust the government because they don't play by the rules. We can't trust corporations, as they're in it for the cash.

What's the cold war phase? Trust but verify?

P.

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Meh

unlike in the UK....

where they had to "invent" a citizenship test to keep the population in order?

But seriously, a lot of that comes from the reality that America saved the world (i.e Europe) some 70 years ago.

Its just a shame, that the politics have created such a toxic atmosphere.

Although the rise in military/industrial complex didn't help....

P.

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Anonymous Coward

This just undescores

How some country, like Switzerland, could clean up in large IT areas by passing IT privacy laws similar to their older banking privacy laws, and then start cloud-hosting-etc companies.

The one thing that is really clear in all of this is that no US or British company can be trusted with anyone's private data, and no encryption from a US or British company can be trusted at all.

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@VernonDozier: What the hell am I reading?

So RSA was born as a commercial product, that used some of the PGP technology.

Wrong. RSA was sitting on its patents and unable to monetize the stuff properly (not to mention being hindered by ITAR and COCOM.)

Zimmermann wanted to use the RSA algorithm in PGP. But it was patented. So he finagled the fact that basically someone at RSA said over a beer that he could build an implementation. (Building an implementation is not hard to do; we did it at school). Then someone exported the code as a printout to Norway and Finland to be "legally in the right" about that as I remember. End of story.

These were interesting times. Also the times when Clinton wanted to get into your phone via Clipper chip and "key escrow" retardation.

I remember reading an article in Scientific American from the early 1990s, where IBM said they had the technology to develop CPUs that run up to 4GHz using RISC technology

Must have been very simple CPUs (like, a few trransistors) using experimental GaAs or Josephon Junctions. "We are doing it in the lab" is not "You can have it at the retailer".

Parallel processing makes it more difficult to brute-force decrypt.

LOLWHAT. Brute-force decryption is "embarrassingly parallel" problem.

My guess is that computer speeds plateaued as a result of Government intervention

Time for bed, Mulder!!

See also: RSA Company History

See also: PGP history

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Re: @VernonDozier: What the hell am I reading?

A blast from the past

Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 15:54:20 -0400

From: freematt@coil.com (Matthew Gaylor)

Subject: Newsflash: PGP approved for export of strong crypto

[Just in case you haven't already heard...]

Hello Friends,

Around here, this is what we call "pretty good news." The other good news is that it's NOT April Fools Day (yes, this is for real.). Best of all: no key escrow! :)

Have a Pretty Good Day,

dave

................................. cut here .................................

CONTACT:

Mike Nelson

Director of Corporate Communication

Pretty Good Privacy, Inc.

415.524.6203

PRETTY GOOD PRIVACY RECEIVES GOVERNMENT APPROVAL TO EXPORT STRONG ENCRYPTION

SAN MATEO, Calif., May 28, 1997 -- Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. (www.pgp.com), the world leader in digital privacy and security software, today announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce has approved the export of Pretty Good Privacy's encryption software to the overseas offices of the largest companies in the United States. This makes Pretty Good Privacy the only U.S. company currently authorized to export strong encryption technology not requiring key recovery to foreign subsidiaries and branches of the largest American companies (see list of companies below).

The approval allows Pretty Good Privacy to export strong, 128-bit encryption without a requirement that the exported products contain key recovery features or other back doors that enable government access to keys. More than one-half of the Fortune 100 already use PGP domestically to secure their corporate data and communications.

"Now we are able to export strong encryption technology to the overseas offices of more than 100 of the largest companies in America, without compromising the integrity of the product or the strength of the encryption," said Phil Dunkelberger, President of Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. "We worked closely with the State Department when they controlled the export of encryption, and are now working with the Commerce Department. And we have never had a license application denied."

The license allows export of strong encryption technology, without government access to keys, to the overseas subsidiaries and branch offices of more than 100 of the largest American companies, provided that the offices are not located in embargoed countries, namely Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.

"As far as we know, Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. is now the only company that has U.S. government approval to sell strong encryption to the worldwide subsidiaries and branch offices of such a large number of U.S. corporations, without having to compromise on the strength of the encryption or add schemes designed to provide government access to keys," said Robert H. Kohn, vice president and general counsel of Pretty Good Privacy. "Pretty Good Privacy still opposes export controls on cryptographic software, but this license is a major step toward meeting the global security needs of American companies."

The U.S. government restricts the export of encryption using key lengths in excess of 40 bits. However, 40-bit cryptography is considered "weak," because it can be broken in just a few hours. Generally, the U.S. government will grant export licenses for up to 56-bit encryption if companies commit to develop methods for government access to keys. For anything over 56 bits, actual methods for government access must be in place.

Pretty Good Privacy's license permits the export of 128-bit or "strong" encryption, without any requirement of a key recovery mechanism that enables government access to the data. A message encrypted with 128-bit PGP software is 309,485,009,821,341,068,724,781,056 times more difficult to break than a message encrypted using 40-bit technology. In fact, according to estimates published by the U.S. government, it would take an estimated 12 million times the age of the universe, on average, to break a single 128-bit message encrypted with PGP.

"Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. has been working diligently to ensure compliance with the export control laws. Clearly, the Commerce Department recognizes the needs of reputable American companies to protect their intellectual property and other sensitive business information using strong cryptography," said Roszel C. Thomsen II, partner at the law firm of Thomsen and Burke LLP.

"User demand for strong cryptography is growing worldwide," said Marc Rotenberg, director of Electronic Privacy Information Center, and a leading privacy-rights advocate. "This is just one more example of the need to remove obstacles to the export of the best products the U.S. can provide."

Companies that are approved for the export of Pretty Good Privacy's strong encryption should contact Pretty Good Privacy's sales office at 415.572.0430 or visit the company's web site at www.pgp.com. Companies that are not currently on the list of licenses obtained by Pretty Good Privacy, but would like to gain approval to use strong encryption in their branch offices and subsidiaries around the world, should also contact Pretty Good Privacy at 415.572.0430 for information about how to be included in future government-approved export licenses for PGP.

About Pretty Good Privacy, Inc.

Pretty Good Privacy (www.pgp.com), founded in March 1996, is the leading provider of digital-privacy products for private communications and the secure storage of data for businesses and individuals. Pretty Good Privacy's original encryption software for email applications (PGP) was distributed as freeware in 1991 by Phil Zimmermann, Chief Technical Officer and Founder of Pretty Good Privacy, and allowed individuals, for the first time, to send information without risk of interception. With millions of users, it has since become the world leader in email encryption and the de facto standard for Internet mail encryption. Over one half of the Fortune 100 companies use PGP. In order to provide only the strongest encryption software, Pretty Good Privacy publishes all of its encryption source code and algorithms for extensive peer review and public scrutiny. The company can be reached at 415.572.0430; http://www.pgp.com.

Immediately followed by

Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 18:46:08 -0400

From: "Tom Betz" <tbetz@pobox.com>

Subject: Re: Newsflash: PGP approved for export of strong crypto

On 29 May 97 at 15:54, Matthew Gaylor wrote:

> SAN MATEO, Calif., May 28, 1997 -- Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. (www.pgp.com), the world leader in digital privacy and security software, today announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce has approved the export of Pretty Good Privacy's encryption software to the overseas offices of the largest companies in the United States. This makes Pretty Good Privacy the only U.S. company currently authorized to export strong encryption technology not requiring key recovery to foreign subsidiaries and branches of the largest American companies (see list of companies below).

Hokay... does anyone know the exact date the NSA cracked PGP?

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Boffin

Re: @VernonDozier: What the hell am I reading?

nice summary.

As for cracking PGP, one thing that has always made my "mathematical antennae" twitch, is that it is not *provably hard*. If we were in the Eagle n Child, I could try and explain my reasoning...

Besides, I went to the D-wave talk at Sc13, and now I know it is crackable, with enough cash...

P.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: unlike in the UK....

See, it's true. The US really do believe they helped win WW2.

In fact the Russians lost 20 times the number of soldiers as the US fighting the Germans.

Who broke the enigma code? the UK did.

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Hoe

Depends how it was offered....

NSA: $10m for a Backdoor?

CO: Sod Off.

NSA: $10m for a Backdoor or we force you to do it under the official secrets act for nothing?

CO: Hm well actually now you say it, it does seem like a good idea!

But then they would never use that act for such things sur...oh wait.

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Pint

Re: unlike in the UK....

i was thinking of things like the Marshall plan etc... If you think Europe is in a mess now, imagine what it would have been like without American assistance. Enlightened self-interest it may have been, but we all benefited. The British cracked enigma with help from the Polish and a great deal of astonishing ingenuity. But also a degree of Nazi incompetence. If the Americans had not sent the massive amount of support they did (leased or otherwise), history could have been very different without D-day.

I got a few thumbs down for saying it, but the American constitution and system of government is a historically amazing human achievement. It was an isolated event drawing much inspiration from the French revolution (via B.Franklin ), and coming "hot on the heels" of the English civil war. But the ideal of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is simply an amazing observation.

The complete rejection of the farce that was royalty in 1776, is just as relevant today.

It is just a shame we find ourselves in the short sighted situation that the amazing human achievement of the internet, actually has the governments and trans-national corporations, deliberately making it less useful for the public, to suit their own ends.

Beer, as it ferments ideas as it quenches thirst.

P.

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@ACx - Great comment...

Very fair commentary, but the next 50 years will knock it out of Americans in the same way the 2nd half of the 20th century knocked it out of the British.

Time was to many of my countrymen that if it was owner by, occupied by or made in Britain it was automatically sub standard.

The reality of 50 years of being owned by the Americans has done to the UK what 50 years of being owned by the Chinese will do to the USA.

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Headmaster

>allegience

>where a poppy on her collar

>supremecy

For heaven's sake, you have the correct spelling right in front of you, in the OP. Additionally, since ragging on Yanks is a well-known Reg pass time, one assumes that defenders like yourself are mostly... American. i.e. it is your native tongue you are butchering.

If you spell at the level of a 2nd grader who needs to be held behind, do you expect us to pay attention to your arguments?

'sides it's not like you are making cogent arguments anyway and I mostly agree with the OP. Except that I think the brain off-switch w.r.t. patriotism is present in most countries, with the US just having an unusually potent version of it.

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Happy

re: ragging on Yanks is a well-known Reg pass time

Think you mean passtime. But I digress; The Reg is a UK site so I s'pose you are largely right!

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Unhappy

"And no, Im not joking. just look in to American schools. They teach allegiance to the flag like christians teach the good book. "

True

Much as in the Soviet era Russia did the same with Russian school children.

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Big Brother

... said the spider to the fly

Those without their heads in the sand can see exactly the same thing going on much closer to the English Channel.

PS This was a reply to @Graham_Dawson's comment "Want to know a funny thing" - don't know how it got here. However, it sits quite well after the Russian thing.

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Shouldn't this have been a clue as to the usefulness of "official" encryption products?

"Generally, the U.S. government will grant export licenses for up to 56-bit encryption if companies commit to develop methods for government access to keys. For anything over 56 bits, actual methods for government access must be in place."

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or more likely

NSA: Install backdoor.

CEO: Sure we can, but we're a bit tight right now and it will cost us a bit of money to do the work and testing etc.

NSA: Will $1M cover expenses?

CEO: Sure.

NSA: Well here's 10.

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Black Helicopters

Switzerland and Crypto AG [Re: This just undescores...]

I think you need to look into Crypto AG a bit before being too bullish about Switzerland.

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Re: A different era?

> RSA might have honestly thought the NSA was recommending the algorithm to help protect national interests,

And people might honestly have thought that the Tories were privatising Royal Mail to ensure a better service for little old ladies and better pay and conditions for the posties

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Getting a bit circular...

...American children are literally brainwashed into believing in American supremacy.

I'm sorry, where in the pledge of allegience is there any mention of American supremecy?...

I'm sorry, where in the original post is there any mention of pledge of allegience (sic)?

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"It's amusing that what was once a very left-wing project is now taken as a very right-wing ideal."

Left Wing and Right Wing do not respectively mean 'things we like and things we don't'. Pledging allegiance to the flag is neither socialist nor none-socialist. It's just propaganda and indoctrination, something common to either end of the Left-Right spectrum.

This is what biased media leads to: attribution of anything negative to the faction you oppose. Racism? Homophobia? These must be things that are Right Wing because I am Left-Wing.

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"I'm sorry, where in the pledge of allegience is there any mention of American supremecy?"

The bit where it mentions that America is God's own country. It doesn't take much to then transfer the supremacy of God to his country.

Ironically, of course, America is far more powerful than the god in question who is a lot less substantial than a submarine full of nukes.

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Re: Now then Now then

Re: NSA a "law unto themselves"...

Let's just tell it like it is: LAWLESS!

Of course any law outside the USA was summarily ignored. However, any law that interfered with collecting the haystack inside the border was subverted by one means or another.

For the premier "security" agency to deliberately and forcibly corrupt encryption security is beyond mind boggling.

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Re: @VernonDozier: What the hell am I reading?

Thank you for the updates and corrections. I was going off memory...

That happened twenty years ago!

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Re: @VernonDozier: What the hell am I reading?

That looks familliar; likely what was posted on Fidonet back in the day...

Thank you.

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Re: Back in the 70s

IBM did a cipher called Lucifer which used a larger block and key size, but was actually weaker than DES. The NSA knew about so-called "bent functions", s-boxes designed to be extremely nonlinear and therefore more resistant to linear-approximation attacks.

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@h4rm0ny

Notice I made no comment on the "goodness" of the pledge; just that the perception of its political alignment has changed.

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Re: unlike in the UK....

"In fact the Russians lost 20 times the number of soldiers as the US fighting the Germans"

The Russians were *only* fighting the Germans, and didn't lose significantly more soldiers than the other side. Meanwhile the UK and US were also fighting the Japanese. Indeed, Stalin's complaint that they were *only* fighting the Japanese was an understandable one even if exaggerated. The Russians also had a 1000-mile land border with the Germans whereas we had a handy stretch of water, so perhaps this was an inevitable division of labour.

Then there's the problem of looking at 1940 through the lens of 2013. It is hard to realise that the UK was still a world empire at that time whereas Russia was an agricultural backwater that had only recently discovered heavy industry (and fighting perhaps the most industrially advanced country in Europe). The war effort meant that the post-war world saw the dis-mantling of the UK's empire but the Cold War created the Soviet war machine that most of us were taught to fear during *our* childhoods.

"Who broke the enigma code? the UK did."

Well. you have a point there. On the one hand, we had the actual device to look at so it wasn't surprising that our team cracked the code first. On the other hand, the perversion of history by certain Hollywood execs is frankly tasteless when one considers the extent of losses on all sides. Enough US personnel died in WW2 that (one would have thought) the generation of Americans that came afterwards would feel obliged to simply be honest about this period.

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Re: When I were little

Hello:

I lived and went to school in the US between late 1966 and mid 1970.

In elementary school, the class would recite the pledge of alliegance every morning but this was not so in junior high.

Being only 10, I did it basically because every one else in class did it.

I recall that one of the first times I did, one of my classmates brought up the question of my doing so in class, as I was not a US citizen. My teacher clearly informed me that was under no obligation to recite the pledge of alliegance along with the rest of the class.

I understand that this may not have been so everywhere.

Cheers.

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Re: unlike in the UK....

"I got a few thumbs down for saying it, but the American constitution and system of government is a historically amazing human achievement. It was an isolated event drawing much inspiration from the French revolution (via B.Franklin ), and coming "hot on the heels" of the English civil war. But the ideal of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is simply an amazing observation."

Unfortunately one of the reasons it's isolated is that many other countries who established democratic governments found themselves invaded or subverted by the US to put in dictatorships who would be more amenable to doing what the US wanted rather than what their populations had voted for.

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Re: unlike in the UK....

"I got a few thumbs down for saying it, but the American constitution and system of government is a historically amazing human achievement. It was an isolated event drawing much inspiration from the French revolution (via B.Franklin ), and coming "hot on the heels" of the English civil war. But the ideal of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is simply an amazing observation."

The American constitution and system of government is nothing like an isolated event. It is explicitly a fork of the British system, run locally so as to be answerable to local needs. It was designed to be bicameral with one house that lots of people are elected to and the one house that a small number of people are chosen for by other important people. It uses an adversarial, precedential legal system based on the premise that everything is legal unless explicitly proscribed. It explicitly adopted all British case law up to the cut off. Major political party for the first half century? The Whigs.

The British system, of course, directly descends from that imported from Normandy by William the Conqueror in 1066. Ever wondered why we have mortgages, a few of which are puisne, or why civil wrongs other than those arising due to contracts are called torts?

Converting Locke's "life, liberty, and estate" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" does not an isolated event make.

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Re: unlike in the UK....

Given that one of the main aims of the constitution was to prevent the formation of an all powerful central government in the hands of a few imperial families and largley influenced by religous extremists - I would give it 5/10

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Anonymous Coward

Re: re: ragging on Yanks is a well-known Reg pass time

Or even 'Pastime', Not that I would ever wish to criticise.

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America in WW2

America entered the war after Pearl Harbour, to serve it's own interests not to save the world from Fascism. Whereas Britain bankrupted itself fighting WW2, as a result of the US's late entry into the war they emerged as the new economic world power. And whilst the US loaned money to Britain to help it rebuild (at a favorable rate of 2%) it extracted a lot of other terms, such as Britain giving up most of its territorial claims abroad, access to resources for their heavy industry and lots of other agreements which all added up to a golden ticket for America.

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Re: re: ragging on Yanks is a well-known Reg pass time

actually, I think he meant pastime...

OH! I was a bit late. Someone beat me to it!

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Re: unlike in the UK....

Who threw more Shermans at them than they had artillery shells?

Oh that's right, the US did.

Who pumped money into Old Blighty before the US entered the war to keep them going?

Oh, that's right the US did.

Who f*cked up while lying to his people and proclaiming he'd secured "peace in our time"?

Oh that's right another patriotic twit from the UK who hadn't a clue about what he was up against. The same sort of twit who was happy Mussolini had finally gotten the trains running on time in Italy.

Oh, and as the greatest Army general of all time noted: "You don't win wars by dying for your country. You win by making the other bastard die for his." That this also conveniently eliminated opposition for Stalin was probably only a fortunate coincidence. Not!

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