In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, many people are wondering why the attack wasn’t able to be prevented. Now, several technology officers are claiming that encryption prevented security forces from discovering the plans of the attacks until it was too late. However, it is likely that even without encryption, the attacks could not have been prevented.
Many government officials and politicians have come out and said that it is highly probable that the terrorists were using an encrypted communications device.
Former deputy director of the CIA Mike Morell said, “We don’t know for sure yet, but I think what we’re going to learn is that these guys were communicating via these encrypted apps.”
Meanwhile, CIA director John Brennan said at a security conference that the recent attacks will serve as a wake-up call that highlights the technical obstacles intelligence officers face in obtaining plans about acts of terrorism.
However, people are fighting back against these arguments, saying that allowing access to encrypted communication servers by law enforcement would compromise much of the security on the internet. They also mention the fact that it has not yet been proven that the terrorists did indeed use encrypted communication servers.
Strong encryption is extremely important to the average internet user. Whether a person is texting, banking online or shopping, critical information is very vulnerable without proper security measures. Plus, even if encryption were to be banned, tech-savvy criminals and terrorists would likely use it anyway. The worst case for them is that they would be fined for using encryption. The only people who would be made vulnerable are honest people who need encryption to protect their important data.
Former technical director at the National Security Agency Jasper Graham said, “Unfortunately, for an organization like ISIS that has pretty much gone to the extreme of everything that they’ve done, I don’t think that just loosening encryption standards is going to thwart and bring them down.”