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

from the thank-you-ed dept

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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...

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


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  1. icon
    Ninja (profile), 27 Apr 2016 @ 10:25am

    Re: "It's not my fault for stealing the cookies, it's your fault for catching me."

    While he may have sped up things and the intel folks are to blame for it I wouldn't place all the blame on them. At least not if restricted to the US. There are plenty of help from abroad and I'm not talking about US allies. That said, the contribution of China and the likes is smaller for sure.

    And the arms race with malicious hackers out there (remember hacking is not always bad per se) also isn't guilty alone. There's a lot of people wanting to protect their devices from plain old theft of data. Remember our phones now carry a great deal about our lives.

    So in the end Clapper is giving too much importance to Ed while leaving other factors out.

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