Encryption: The New Baba Yaga

You won’t see much about this in American newspapers or on air, but the investigative details emerging from the Paris attacks all point to the fact that communication between the murderers was apparently all conducted via normal SMS. That is to say…unencrypted.

“…News emerging from Paris — as well as evidence from a Belgian ISIS raid in January — suggests that the ISIS terror networks involved were communicating in the clear, and that the data on their smartphones was not encrypted.

European media outlets are reporting that the location of a raid conducted on a suspected safe house Wednesday morning was extracted from a cellphone, apparently belonging to one of the attackers, found in the trash outside the Bataclan concert hall massacre. Le Monde reported that investigators were able to access the data on the phone, including a detailed map of the concert hall and an SMS messaging saying “we’re off; we’re starting.” Police were also able to trace the phone’s movements.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the “mastermind” of a decade-earlier attempt in Belgium and the Paris attacks, never used encrypted communication of any kind. The clear upshot of which is that our existing technological capabilities (which stopped the Belgium attacks)  could have stopped the Paris attacks.

The reason you won’t read/see coverage about this is because the Paris attacks have been useful as a stalking horse for those who would further America’s ever expanding surveillance society.

Immediately after the Paris attacks Chicken Little’s like the NYT suggested that the terrorists used incredibly sophisticated encryption techniques to plan the assaults, even though there was no evidence of such. In fact the NYT went too far in another article —since removed— in outright stating, absent any fact, that encryption was used. That’s not the worst of it: less even-handed reporting had communications originating from an encrypted PlayStation 4.

NBC was also startled by the encryption Baba Yaga, claiming the iPhone was the Devil that thwarted governments’ ability to forestall these attacks. Worse, says NBC, ISIS is manning a 24-hour web NOC 1 for newbie terrorists, teaching the wannabes the finer points of elliptical curve encryption and quantum cryptography. 2

The inference here is that all this is Edward Snowden’s fault: encryption has made us less safe and needs to be brought under control.

Bullshit. Everyone uses encryption; they did so before Snowden and they have continued to do so. That’s everyone: saints and sinners alike.

But SkyNet will not be satisfied until they can reach into every last nook and cranny of you world, and if they have to mislead and outright lie to accomplish that end – so be it.

Stolen Elections

Show 2 footnotes

  1. That the NSA, CIA, DISA, FBI and the other alphabet agencies seem incapable of finding and shutting down.
  2. Jebus Fucking Ke-rist! I simply can’t stop laughing at the idea.

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