Clinton Campaign Happily Using Strong End-To-End Encryption To Communicate; Will They Let The Rest Of Us Use It Too?
from the good-for-the-goose dept
Encryption of mobile communications presents a particularly tough problem. We should take the concerns of law enforcement and counterterrorism professionals seriously. They have warned that impenetrable encryption may prevent them from accessing terrorist communications and preventing a future attack.Of course, she then did a "on the other hand" and noted the concerns of security folks. Since then, she's called for a sort of Manhattan Project on encryption, believing that if Silicon Valley people just could nerd harder, they could make encryption that could only be broken by law enforcement. That's not how it works. She's also complained that Silicon Valley treats the government "as its adversary."
So it seems rather noteworthy that, following questions about how well she secured her own emails, combined with email leaks from the DNC and reports that the campaign itself has been hacked, the Clinton campaign has now started using Signal, the popular encrypted messaging system from Open Whisper Systems (who made the protocol that is generally considered the best around for end-to-end encrypted messaging).
In the intervening weeks, staffers were told, according to a person who works with the committee, that if anyone was going to communicate about Donald Trump over e-mail or text message, especially if those missives were even remotely contentious or disparaging, it was imperative that they do so using an application called Signal....So, you'd think that, maybe (just maybe) the Clinton campaign might come out and say that it's not planning to support bills that would outlaw Signal after they're elected, right?
Signal, staffers in the meeting were told, was “Snowden-approved.” A week after the meeting at the campaign headquarters, according to two people who have worked with the D.N.C. and the Clinton campaign, an e-mail was sent out instructing staffers where to download the app and how to use it.
Perhaps it'll take another lesson. Because, apparently, the Clinton campaign staffers didn't pay much attention to the briefing:
While the D.N.C. hack sent tremors down the spines of virtually everyone in Washington, it didn’t take long for people to take the easy route, once again e-mailing sensitive information that could easily hamper the campaign if it ever became public. Or, as one Washington insider told me: “No one really learned.”So, there's that.
The other oddity in this story is that Hillary Clinton has called for Snowden to be put in jail, and yet now her campaign is telling everyone to use Snowden-approved encryption? The irony did not go unnoticed by one person in particular: