US and European officials have been quick to indict technology for the attacks – although they have yet to show how, or if, technology contributed. CIA director John Brennan, whose own personal email account was recently breached by hackers, attributed the recent popularity of secure communications to “a lot of handwringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists”, and said the effect had been to make the CIA’s ability to locate people “much more challenging”.
Privacy advocates have called the renewed discussion of encryption back doors inexcusably cynical and said that back door access would doubtless be used immediately by criminals and indeed terrorists.
“A sophisticated terrorist organization will be thrilled at the presence of weakened encryption and backdoors into encryption, because we know from every reputable computer scientist that there’s no safe way to do it that will not be vulnerable to hackers,” said Lauren Weinstein, a privacy advocate who worked on Arpanet, the ancestor of the modern internet. “We’re talking about the same government that’s proven itself unable to protect the information of its own citizens, and we’re not talking a few people; we’re talking millions.
We were shocked and saddened to learn of the attacks in Paris and Beirut,” wrote Electronic Frontier Foundation executive director Cindy Cohn, saying backdoors would “inevitably” be used for illicit purposes. “But these heinous attacks must not be used to justify further erosion of our security, civil liberties or privacy.”
Whenever, in the aftermath of such attacks, government officials use the attacks as further justifications to take away our hard earned freedoms, the direct result is that the “terrorists win.” It’s not fear that is their ultimate goal, it’s the loss of freedom that characterizes the west.
Those that use these events to further their agenda should be fired from their jobs because in the eyes of the beholder these people almost relish in events like these happening to further their agenda, and that seems like a conflict of interest.