As Predicted: Encryption Haters Are Already Blaming Snowden (?!?) For The Paris Attacks
from the shut-up dept
It really was less than two months ago that we noted that, having lost the immediate battle for US legislation to backdoor encryption, those in the intelligence community knew they just needed to bide their time until the next big terrorist attack. Here was the quote from Robert Litt — the top lawyer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence from September:
Although ?the legislative environment is very hostile today,? the intelligence community?s top lawyer, Robert S. Litt, said to colleagues in an August e-mail, which was obtained by The Post, ?it could turn in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement.?
Well, as you already know, on Friday there was a tragic and horrifying terrorist attack in France that killed over 100 people. And it took basically no time at all for defenders of the surveillance state to start… blaming Snowden and encryption? It started with the usual talking heads, such as former George W. Bush press secretary and current Fox News commentator, Dana Perino, who seriously seemed to blame Snowden for the attacks based on… who knows what.
Also, F Snowden. F him to you know where and back.
— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) November 14, 2015
if the attack was aided through "whistleblowers" leaking what the NSA cannot penetrate, will that be part of the movie?
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) November 14, 2015
The attackers are believed to have communicated using encryption technology, according to European officials who had been briefed on the investigation but were not authorized to speak publicly. It was not clear whether the encryption was part of widely used communications tools, like WhatsApp, which the authorities have a hard time monitoring, or something more elaborate. Intelligence officials have been pressing for more leeway to counter the growing use of encryption.
Here’s the link to that article, but as I type this, it now shows the following:
No matter what, the argument is pure bullshit. Of course they probably used encryption, because lots of people use encryption to communicate, and there’s no way in hell that they suddenly decided to use encryption “because Snowden.” As Glenn Greenwald has helpfully chronicled, the press has noted that terrorists have known to use encryption to avoid having their communications spied upon since before 9/11. Here’s just one example in an article stuffed with many, many more:
The real point, though: if you want to communicate secretly, there is always some way to do it. To blame leaks from just a couple of years ago on the fact that people planning to commit mass murder try to communicate secretly is flat out ridiculous and is nothing more than fear mongering to score political points.