ISIS Now Has Its Own Encrypted Messaging App; Doubt They'll Abide By Politicians' Demands For Backdoors

from the just-saying... dept

As law enforcement and politicians still keep pushing American companies to backdoor encryption, making the technology less secure and more dangerous for everyone, no one has explained how this will actually help in stopping terrorists from communicating secretly. Back in December, the Open Technology Institute released a paper that detailed how so many encrypted messaging systems were either open source or not controlled by US companies. It even took a WSJ report on the messaging apps that ISIS apparently was "recommending" to people and noted how most of them are not controllable by US laws:
And, of course, it should come as little surprise that some security folks are reporting that they've spotted a new secure messaging app that appears to have been created by ISIS itself:
ISIS has a new Android app for exchanging secure messages, joining another app that distributes propaganda and recruiting material, according to a counterterrorism network called the Ghost Security Group.
While the report notes that the app is "rudimentary" that doesn't mean it won't be improved over time. But, more importantly, it highlights that efforts to backdoor or undermine encryption on American companies certainly won't do a damn thing to stop ISIS from communicating securely. Yes, some will argue that ISIS' homegrown encrypted messaging apps are probably much more vulnerable to NSA cracking, but it still doesn't change the fact that demanding backdoors into US companies messaging systems won't magically lead to uncovering ISIS communications. It will just make Americans less secure.

Filed Under: back doors, communications, encryption, going dark, isis, messaging


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Jan 2016 @ 1:04am

    Bloodthirsty thugs? Yes. Lawbreakers? Why of course not!

    But, more importantly, it highlights that efforts to backdoor or undermine encryption on American companies certainly won't do a damn thing to stop ISIS from communicating securely. Yes, some will argue that ISIS' homegrown encrypted messaging apps are probably much more vulnerable to NSA cracking, but it still doesn't change the fact that demanding backdoors into US companies messaging systems won't magically lead to uncovering ISIS communications. It will just make Americans less secure.

    Nonsense, clearly after mandatory backdoors in encryption are rolled out, the next step is to make it so that using non-backdoored encryption is illegal. I mean, ISIS may be a group of pathetic butchers, with a habit of killing people that disagree with their thuggery, but surely they wouldn't break the law by continuing to use illegal encryption, right?

    Same with other criminals, sure they may break a few laws here and there, but if the government made using real encryption illegal, I'm sure they'd honor it, and stop there. "We may be willing to break other laws, but violating the law against encryption? That's one step too far!" would be the common response, of this I'm sure.

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