Congress to investigate US involvement in Juniper's backdoor

The security hole may have allowed the NSA to spy on VPN traffic for years.

Congress announced plans on Friday to investigate the backdoor recently found in Juniper Networks software and whether it was intentionally placed there for the National Security Agency's benefit. The investigation is being led by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has already sent more than two dozen letters to various agencies asking for documentation regarding their use of Juniper's ScreenOS software. The company announced in December that ScreenOS had been compromised using a technique that has widely been attributed to the NSA.

If they do discover that the NSA is behind this, such a revelation could have a significant impact on the policy debate surrounding the government's repeated requests for backdoor access to many popular encryption programs. "How do we understand the vulnerabilities that created this problem and ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen in the future?" Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tx), who heads the OGR committee told Reuters. "I don't think the government should be requesting anything that weakens the security of anything that is used by the federal government or American businesses."