HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! In the mean time, check out our new face masks and other gear on Threadless »
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! In the mean time, check out our new face masks and other gear on Threadless »

Thank Snowden, As NSA Estimates He Singlehandedly Sped Up Encryption Adoption By 7 Years

from the thank-you-ed dept

Post sponsored by

Golden Frog

As part of our funding campaign for our coverage of encryption, we reached out to some companies that care about these issues to ask them to show their support. This post is sponsored by Golden Frog, a company dedicated to online privacy, security and freedom.


James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, is claiming that, according to NSA estimates the Snowden revelations sped up the adoption rate of encryption by 7 years. Apparently, that's based on NSA estimates of the adoption curve of encryption. As reported by Jenna McLaughlin at the Intercept:

“As a result of the Snowden revelations, the onset of commercial encryption has accelerated by seven years,” James Clapper said during a breakfast for journalists hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

The shortened timeline has had “a profound effect on our ability to collect, particularly against terrorists,” he said.

When pressed by The Intercept to explain his figure, Clapper said it came from the National Security Agency. “The projected growth maturation and installation of commercially available encryption — what they had forecasted for seven years ahead, three years ago, was accelerated to now, because of the revelation of the leaks.”
Of course, it's worth noting that, in the past few months, it seemed as if the NSA and the intelligence community was moving away from its kneejerk hatred of encryption, pushing back against the FBI's argument that we need to backdoor encryption. But, apparently they're not willing to go quite this far. Basically, the NSA wants strong encryption out there, but it doesn't really want you to use it.
Asked if that was a good thing, leading to better protection for American consumers from the arms race of hackers constantly trying to penetrate software worldwide, Clapper answered no.

“From our standpoint, it’s not … it’s not a good thing,” he said.
Yup. James Clapper would prefer that the American public be less safe by not using encryption, rather than protecting their digital lives.

Of course, many other people do think it's a very, very good thing. Including Ed Snowden:
So, the guy in the US government is upset that the public is more safe, and the guy that people want to accuse of being a traitor is proud of helping Americans to better protect themselves. Maybe we ought to reverse their roles...

VyprVPN from Golden Frog is the world's fastest highly-secure VPN.
Get 25% off VyprVPN now »

Filed Under: edward snowden, encryption, james clapper, nsa, sponsored post


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2016 @ 2:50pm

    Advanced by 7 years?

    So that would put it still about 13 years behind where it should be. We should point out that almost all the crypto being rushed into service now is using software libraries that have been in service and progressively updated for a decade on now.

    Also note that newer systems under development are typically not open architectures. As the older systems become deprecated, the newer ones are making the Internet more closed.

    This can be attributed to less economic freedom, (fewer innovators have the free time to innovate in a non-militaristic way) and to intellectual property law that treats public assets like the dirt in the bottom of a cock fighting ring.

    The impetus for change is there, but the freedom to do so is under progressively more constraint. That constraint will continue to get worse under either of the front running candidates. It is fair to say the next major technology boom won't come from the U.S.. It will be like the 80's again with heavy domestic stagflation, and a foreign markets dominating.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.