The horrific attacks in Paris are starting a new debate over whether American government scouts should have informal access to encrypted messages rolling across the web.
Spies agencies have claimed for self-styled “backdoors” that would allow them to monitor encrypted messages, emails, phone calls, chats, and other kinds of web communication.
Darren Hayes from Pace University said, “A lot of people in these terror groups have developed encryption techniques, and France has one of the most sophisticated systems for monitoring communications. If France didn’t pick up this attack in advance, it’s a wake-up call for all of us.”
3 days after the terrible attacks in Paris, the words of whistleblower (Edward Snowden) looms large in US politics:
- How did 8 attackers manage to communicate with collaborators in the area and with ISIS commanders in Syria, without getting the attention of intelligence agencies in America and Europe?
- How did the counterterrorism agencies fail to capture the news of these attacks?
- With extra surveillance and low privacy guards, is it doable that Friday’s incident could have been restricted before they started?
It is, obviously, a maddeningly hypothetical query – however, by Monday, it had ignited a new debate in Washington.
Former and current American officials from both the Bush and Obama administrations mostly said that the Paris incident shows how privacy questions in the wake of the Edward Snowden reveal went too far, although civil rights and privacy advocates anxiously pushed the brakes.
Still, many American intelligence officials and lawmakers seized on the assaults to lobby for backdoors. Dianne Feinstein (US Senator) said,
“Silicon Valley has to look at its products because if you create a product that allows evil monsters to communicate in this way, to behead children, to strike innocents — whether it’s at a game in a stadium, in a small restaurant in Paris, take down an airliner — that’s a big problem.”
Former deputy director of CIA, Michael Morell said, debates about encryption have been mainly shaped by Snowden and his followers, however, a new episode would “be well-defined by what occurred in Paris.”
Keep in mind that there is no conclusive word yet regarding how the terrorists contacted with each other.
There was an undiscovered report regarding how the terrorists’’ communication tool of choice apparently was a PS4 gaming console, and a report referring anonymous European officials who stated the terrorists used encrypted tools to communicate one another.
Now the question is raised whether the response to the Paris incident will boost encryption as government claim that fighting against terrorists should take superiority over keeping privacy.
However, it is not just a matter of privacy vs. security – encryption, in fact, addresses both. Reducing encryption and allowing governments’ access to private communications in the name of fighting against terrorists.
But for some, it is all white and black: John Brennan the director of CIA reportedly said, he expected the Paris incident would be a “deterrent example,” and that “ache” weakens administrations’ ability to protect attacks.
An analyst from Gold Associates, Jack Gold said,
“It’s a two-edge sword. The question is what are we willing to give up in privacy to allow law enforcement agencies to be able to read what we send? Even if we do, will the bad guys go along? Do we prevent even the most powerful encryption apps from being deployed? It’s a real dilemma that needs realistic discussion.”