Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Intelligence Agency Theatrics

Schneier informs us that Paris Attacks Blamed on Strong Cryptography and Edward Snowden.

This, is, of couse, balderdash, as is all the intel people showing up on television talking about how the Paris attacks were 'sophisticated.'

You could hand a similar tactical problem to a boy scout troop, circa 1984. They very likely could come up with a better plan, by a campfire, with a map and a newspaper of upcoming events. Oh, and there would be no chatter.

After years of just hearing this stupid word on the news- chatter- there's this background assumption that bad guys go around talking about whatever bad stuff they are planning, and if we just had encryption and could track everybody, we could catch them.


People don't have to talk. Secondly, agencies don't listen in real time, they can't. They try to record everything. The outcome would be the same- may be the same, because we aren't necessarily hearing what is true from these intel people- we are hearing what they think will make them seem important to us. They could literally have every single cell phone call from everyone of these terrorists- whether anything was revealed or not- and it wouldn't have mattered.

If we fire all these idiots and then pay to get every with a basic competency level decent training and a gun, wouldn't we save money and human life?

I think the above would be true all by itself, but it would most certainly be true if we stopped playing war and immigration games.

Update: The terrorists didn't use encryption.


Bernard Brandt said...

I remember a time, just about four years ago, when I was helping some friends to defend a Federal civil complaint brought against them by the Department of Justice. I recommended that they not discuss the case with me except face to face, and not to discuss the case at all with anyone else. No telephone. No e-mail. No Skype. And when I went to the county law library to conduct researches, I used dead tree resources (i.e., no Lexis or Westlaw or internet sources); I just hit the books, read, and took written notes, with some xeroxes. The result was that my friends stayed out of prison, and basically, we fought the DoJ to a stand-still.

Al-Qaida did the same thing, until they got sloppy. Sic transit gloria Osamae.

My point in raising all of this past history is that in my way, I was there. And I agree with you. Attempting to blame Snowden for Administration FUBARs is elaborate BS.

August said...

That's a good example. Their primary driver appears to be laziness, since, on the one hand they want to monitor all this stuff, but on the other, they can't be bothered to encrypt their own stuff.