Edward Snowden and spread of encryption blamed after Paris terror attacks

“As Paris reels from terror attacks that claimed at least 128 lives, fierce blame for the attack is being directed toward American whistleblower Edward Snowden and the spread of strong encryption catalyzed by his actions,” Patrick Howell O’Neill reports for The Daily Dot.

“In the years since Snowden revealed to the world the vast surveillance and spying done by Western governments, strong encryption has become an increasingly popular way for people to shield their Internet activity from prying eyes. Encryption is used by everyone from ecommerce websites to human rights activists to American soldiers to Islamist terrorists,” O’Neill reports. “It’s the latter group’s adoption of strong encryption in particular that has attracted so much fiery rhetoric.”

O’Neill reports, “Fox News hosts Greg Gutfeld and Dana Perino, George W. Bush’s former press secretary, took to Twitter to directly blame and even curse at Snowden.”

“In response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks that hit Paris in January of 2015, France adopted one of the most aggressive surveillance laws in the Western world. That was not enough to stop these attacks. There is no sign of how the Friday attacks were coordinated and executed,” O’Neill reports. “There is no public information about the planning behind the attack, so any suggestion that Snowden or encryption are to blame is conjecture.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The reason for mass encryption is the misuse of mass surveillance.

France has among the most aggressive surveillance laws in the Western world. The attacks still occurred. Perhaps rampant rights-trampling mass surveillance isn’t the solution?

A man smarter than most once said:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

SEE ALSO:
Privacy advocates alarmed as UK unveils laws proposing power to spy on Web use – November 5, 2015
Do not let the government snoops weaken encryption – November 4, 2015
UK Prime Minister Cameron backs law to make Apple’s iPhone encryption illegal – November 3, 2015
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Government pressure for Apple to bypass encryption reduced as iPhone owner enters guilty plea – October 31, 2015
Judge compares government request for Apple to access users’ iPhone data to execution order – October 27, 2015
U.S. judge expresses doubts over forcing Apple to unlock iPhone – October 26, 2015
US DOJ claims Apple lacks legal standing to refuse iPhone unlock order – October 23, 2015
Apple tells U.S. judge it can’t unlock iPhones running iOS 8 or higher – October 20, 2015
a href=”http://macdailynews.com/2015/10/20/apple-ceo-cook-defends-encryption-opposes-back-door-for-government-spies/”>Apple CEO Cook defends encryption, opposes back door for government spies – October 20, 2015
With Apple court order, activist federal judge seeks to fuel debate about data encryption – October 12, 2015
Judge declines to order Apple to disable security on device seized by U.S. government – October 10, 2015
Apple refused to give iMessages to the U.S. government – September 8, 2015
Obama administration war against Apple just got uglier – July 31, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
U.S. Senate blocks measures to extend so-called Patriot Act; NSA’s bulk collection of phone records in jeopardy – May 23, 2015
Rand Paul commandeers U.S. Senate to protest so-called Patriot Act, government intrusion on Americans’ privacy – May 20, 2015
Apple, others urge Obama to reject any proposal for smartphone backdoors – May 19, 2015
U.S. appeals court rules NSA bulk collection of phone data illegal – May 7, 2015
In open letter to Obama, Apple, Google, others urge Patriot Act not be renewed – March 26, 2015
Apple’s iOS encryption has ‘petrified’ the U.S. administration, governments around the world – March 19, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

142 Comments

          1. Actually the Taliban were mostly supplied by the Saudis and the aid was dispersed by the Pakistani intelligence. U.S. provided the materi!al support but the Pakistanis control who got what.

        1. Funny how Al Queda went back in time to the 90s and positioned itself so that Clinton attacked it and it responded by dragging the naked bodies of American soldiers through the streets of Mogidishu, Somalia.

    1. It’s also a good thing France has such restrictive gun control.

      Strangely, it seems only the criminals (terrorist mass murders) had guns last night in Paris. Oh, and the police, who of course arrived later and therefore failed to prevent the mass murder.

      God help the French should they ever need to take their country back from a deranged dictator. Helpless fools.

      1. 10 or 15 citizens with concealed carry permits.

        This also does not mean, everyone with warm blood and a pulse.

        The term gun control does not mean gun elimination. If you pepper competent citizens with the right to cary, and encourage them to do so, you will achieve the same effect.

        A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

        Militia is of the people, which are well regulated and trained. They are not conscripts but volunteers, given the skills to walk among us, to wisely weald arms for our defense.

        There is a happy middle ground to cover. You can’t be safe with crazy armed people, and likewise you aren’t safe with disarmed people.

          1. That’s the problem with law in general. The English language is not strict in meaning. Interpretation goes a long ways. I am not trying to be right. I am trying to propose a possible solution to maintain civil order. Given the circumstances I can only be wrong to everyone, because it’s not enough and still too much. Given logic it where it should be.

            Solve the problem with as little cost as possible.

        1. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

          Yes, the purpose is for people to be able to have guns, as stated in the amendment, is to allow for “A well regulated militia”.

          I am all for people to have guns if, and only if, they are qualified. (Note the “well regulated” part of the amendment.”

          The unfortunate thing is that the vast majority of people that have guns are simply a danger to themselves or others. Many (most?) have had little or no training on how to use a gun properly. (Again its that “well regulated” part.)

          What is wrong with background checks? What is wrong with requiring proper training (and proof that you’ve had that training)? What is wrong with having both of these on ALL gun transactions?

          Unfortunately, in many U.S. states, it is perfectly legal to walk into a gun show or even a yard sale, buy a handgun with a 15 shot clip, strap it on (NOT concealed) and walk around virtually all public places. You do not need any training or checks that you’re not criminally insane. None.

          Yes, unfortunately, the “pro gun” groups gravitate toward the concept that ANY restriction on gun ownership and use is equivalent to requiring people to give up all their guns, i.e., equating it with making it illegal for the average citizen to own guns. That’s just asinine.

          A friend recently stated to me, “Well if the Secret Service protecting the President have guns, why can’t I?” My response was that if she wanted to go through the training and psychological screening that the Secret Service goes through, I’d be very happy for her to have as many guns as she wants. (Personally, I believe that is a bit extreme, few — if any — gun owners need that level of training and screening.)

          1. http://www.constitution.org/cons/wellregu.htm

            “The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people’s arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.”

            YOU should read and understand the Constitution before tossing your BS out there. Your entire argument is invalid cause you don’t know WTF you are talking about.

            LANGUAGE OF THE TIME, Key point in “deciphering” the Constitution.

            Background checks, PAY the Government to check the status of someone carrying a VALID Carry Permit. Redundancy for the purpose of taxation. (and make Liberals feel better)

            Buy a NEW firearm? Fine, go for the Brady check (SMALL version of an actual Carry Permits “background check”)
            Sell an inanimate object between citizens? No Government involvement needed. Oh except Liberals want Firearms to be regulated by the Government… Which is the EXACT opposite of what the Constitution states…

          2. 46 States allow Open Carry. (Some require the wearer to have a Permit)
            Remember, mass shootings have all taken place in “Gun Free Zones” A shooting has not occurred in the presence of someone OC. (The murderers prefer no resistance) And pretty sure the majority of the firearms used were not legally purchased.. Stolen for many of them

            In fact the Oregon mall shooting a while back.. the shooter killed himself immediately after an armed Citizen drew down on him. (Video proved this)
            The citizen didn’t fire due to Jeff Cooper’s 4th Rule.
            http://thefiringline.com/Misc/safetyrules.html
            Firearm owners: read them, know them, never forget them. No excuses.

            WTF is a Clip? The last firearm to have a Clip was during WWII…

            Illegal to sell a firearm to someone that the seller may suspect may not be legally own the firearm. There is NO law prohibiting a seller from selling the firearm through a FFL dealer.. I have never heard of a dealer that refuses to do in state transfers (many are free or like $10)

            IF you are selling a firearm.. be smart about it. Protect yourself first.
            Every state has Firearm transfer paperwork available to you, USE IT. some state do have registration (go read the Constitution.. registration *should* be illegal, but do NOT try to go around the law if you disagree with it.. Bad choice)
            For those that do not, there is NO requirement to send the paperwork in. Agree with the buyer to fill out the paperwork and *only* send it in if both agree to it. (some states do charge also) Make 2 copies, 1 for the buyer and one for you.

            The MAJORITY of the tables at gun shows… are DEALERS… oh btw, ILLEGAL for them to transfer a firearm without paperwork. Yes there are some private sales, but most of them want the paperwork anyway (protect their ass, or only wanting paperwork due to them thinking the buyer *may* be not allowed to own one.)
            There are private citizens walking around with private sales also.. but normally they are just a few. and Law Enforcement are generally in plain clothes walking the floor looking for illegal sales.. so yeah, cover your ass and don’t be stupid.

          3. “What is wrong with background checks? What is wrong with requiring proper training (and proof that you’ve had that training)? What is wrong with having both of these on ALL gun transactions?”

            California has some of the checks you are interested, and Manson’s murders took place here. Chicago has very restrictive laws and sees rampant violence.

            My only major issue with your checks and protections is the poor having to pay extra for all that stuff, there should be no cost to classes if they are mandatory, or at least you should be able to get a waver for the cost if you cannot pay it. Guns are already expensive enough, and frankly the poor are the most likely to live among violence and have the highest need for self-protection.

            Also, given that we do not really do an adequate job of protecting women from violence (restraining orders are very often not taken seriously by all male law enforcement), that making it harder and take longer for women to get access to guns to protect themselves may mean they have no way to prevent themselves being killed by an angry boyfriend or husband.

            The ideas you have to limit access to guns may make sense for the most part, but they can also make it harder for people that I hope you’d want to be able to protect themselves.

            1. What is wrong with enforcing the gun laws on the books? What is wrong with adding severe penalty to crimes committed using a firearm? The NRA is in agreement with both of these, last I checked, so why insist on additional laws that will restrict law-abiding citizens when CURRENT law is not being enforced. And while they’re at it, make prison a self-sustaining entity where nobody wants to return. Hell, I’d even give up the death penalty if they’d do that last one. Would be nice to take classes of kids to watch the prisoners work to feed themselves as a way of scaring them straight.

            2. What they never understand.. If they make a law banning firearms (like in France/UK/Etc) the *only* ones with guns… are the ones that wouldn’t follow the laws anyway.

        2. “They are not conscripts but volunteers”

          Um, not so much.

          “On this day (May 8) in 1792, Congress passes the second portion of the Militia Act, requiring that every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years be enrolled in the militia.” http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/militia-act-establishes-conscription-under-federal-law

            1. What were you reading? My point was that since 1792 Federal Law has REQUIRED (not voluntarily) every able bodied male between 18 and 45 be ENROLLED (registered) in their respective STATE MILITIA (like the National Guard, this was the part to be well regulated). This was done to avoid the concern over a standing federal army of any great size.

              So anytime someone says he supports the Second Amendment, my first question is “What is your unit number and who is your Commanding Officer?” Bearing arms is done as part of a military organization, the rest of the nonsense is just a wet dream of the National Shooting Sports Federation (hq Sandy Hook, CT).

            2. Go read my post above from Constitution.org your “Well Regulated” argument is invalid.

              The old State Militia you talk about is no longer, again read history and quit reading one act as if it was never changed or amended.

            3. Why is it you only go back to a literal interpretation of the Second Amendment when it suits your purposes? What part of the “well regulated militia” do you belong to? Who is your Commanding Officer? Do you hold a rank that gives you a task above cleaning the stables? I ask because you seem so skilled at shoveling horseshit.

            4. And again you fail to understand that the Militia Act IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT, it was replaced…
              The 2nd Amendment is STILL IN EFFECT and has not changed.

              You still can’t understand the phrase “Well Regulated”, and i’ve never changed my stance on the 2nd.

        3. The anti-2nd Amendment community has for a long time deliberately misread the amendment, to the point of ignoring the logic structure of the sentence.

          The structure is this:
          This is a benefit derived from X; the rights to X shall not be infringed.

          To read it in any different context requires deliberate, intentional ignorance.

          For example; suppose we said:
          “Healthy bones being good for children, the right of children to drink milk shall not be infringed”.

          The “progressive” read of that sentence, taken as they read the 2nd amendment, would be: “Only children with healthy bones are allowed to drink milk”.

          Excuse me, but you have to be a real **** to interpret that sentence that way.

          Quality orchestras being of value to the culture of the state, the right of the people to own musical instruments shall not be infringed.

          Clearly I’ve just said that only orchestra members can own instruments?

          They are not making a mistake with their faulty interpretation- it’s very chillingly deliberate deception.

          1. Most all things are good in moderation. Every living thing is allergic and will die from exposure to bullets. Why not give everyone 5 watt lasers, cannons, nuclear weapons, x-Ray machines?

            The point is absolute, you cannot give everyone a gun, as such you can’t give milk to every child. Certainly everyone who can and wants, should be allowed to drink milk, own and play an instrument, etc. However, let’s say someone knowingly will die from a milk allergy, if they want to drink it, do you let them? Yes it’s absurd, but given an individual and the milk distributor knowledge that it will kill the individual, the outcome would be murder/suicide.

            Being equal, guns as the applicator, and bullets as the agent, they are deadly. Therefore it is best, if the handler knows how to wield it and has the wisdom to apply it appropriately. We have doctors for the application of medicine. We have regulation across the board for most of the tasks committed in society.

            Yet guns and bullets are the most controversial.

        1. You’d be surprised how many concerts I’ve attending with MANY people carrying concealed weapons and yet you’ve not heard of a mass shooting at any of them. The reason being that you are more careful when you don’t know who might be carrying.

          1. Yeah… terrorists with bombs strapped to their belts ready to blow themselves up are definitely going to be careful not to get killed by a citizen with a concealed firearm.

            Most people who are willing to do a mass shooting are also wiling to die, either by killing themselves or being killed. How many mass shootings end up with a live assailant?

            Besides, terrorists don’t invade Jane Arden and Celine Dion concerts… so you should be safe.

      2. Fwhatever, you claim to like numbers, especially when you pull them out of your a$$ to support your wild flights of fancy on fixing the world with “conservatism.” So choke on these intentional homicide numbers from Wikipedia…

        Intentional Homicide per 100,000 in 2012: Rate / Total
        United States: 4.7 / 14,827
        France: 1.0 / 665
        Europe: 3.0 / 22,000

        The lack of firearms appears to make Europe and France considerably safer than the United States in terms of intentional homicide. But how can that be…?

        Now let’s take a look at the Wikipedia data on annual firearm-related death rate per 100,000 people.

        Firearm-Related Death Rate per 100,000: Total / Homicides
        United States: 10.5 / 3.55 (2013)
        France: 3.01 / 0.22 (2009)

        Before going nuts, Fwhatever, I realize that this data is four years apart and that the statistics for all of this data will vary somewhat depending on a variety of factors. Moving on…

        The firearm-related death rate in the U.S. is triple that of France on a per capita basis. The firearm-related homicide rate in the U.S., by itself, is on a par with the intentional homicide rate in Europe and is much larger than the intentional homicide rate in France. Homicide and terrorism are not the only concerns, and the despicable terrorist events last week and over previous decades do not fundamentally change these numbers.

        I am not against guns or gun ownership. I admire guns as tools and mechanisms. However, it seems necessary to point out to the somewhat insane extremist rightwing inhabitants of this forum that firearms are not the answer to public violence or terrorism, and that the proliferation of people toting guns, concealed or open, is not the best or the preferred solution to intentional homicides, terrorism, or other forms of violence.

        Somewhat insane, you splutter! How dare you insult me! Well, I live in Texas, a state that has been dominated by George W. Bush politics for the past fifteen years, and our wise state legislators have decided that packing guns on college campuses (but not in or around the state legislature, mind you) is a great idea. Indeed, Texas has decided that an Animal House with hand guns is the safer option.

        This makes just about as much sense as a country running an annual deficit for the past fifteen years, entering into two lengthy wars, accumulating a mountain of debt, and still insisting that taxes are evil and that tax cuts are the solution to all fiscal problems.

        Where is the freaking conservatism in running a large annual deficit, but massively increasing “defense” spending? I could extend this discussion with regulations, environmental issues, (legitimate) science, unions, etc., but there is really no need. Because, if you understand reasoned debate, compromise, and cooperation, you already know that extremism (on either end) is the real problem. And, if you wish that you could shoot or pistol-whip me right now, then your mind is closed to reason, anyway.

        The proliferation of firearms will not stop terrorism. Firearms, however, do lead to firearm-related deaths of all types, intentional, accidental, suicide…

          1. And I do not want to be one of the many thousands of U.S. citizens injured or killed by firearms each and every year. People that are unwilling to take any action to curb firearm proliferation and violence are part of the problem. Even the First Amendment has limits.

            How do I know what your “safe zone” is? And why should I be confident that all of the people currently carrying firearms are qualified and competent to use them, not to mention sound of mind?

            If you are ever unfortunate enough to find yourself in a terrorist situation like the recent attack in France, then you had better hope that your safe zone exceeds the radius of a bomb.

            1. When I wrote that “Even the First Amendment has limits,” I should have followed that with “Should the rest be any different?” I have no doubt that someone will intentionally misinterpret the prior most as indicating that I do not know my Amendments. What I was attempting to convey is that even the most fundamental rights have limits in the context of society.

      3. Thanks, I needed a good laugh today after those tragedies.

        Any concealed weapon be no match for an AK-47. And besides, these guys had bombs strapped to their waists.

        The armed citizens would have a volley of bullets from a high-powered assault rifle to deal with. The chances of a single shot kill to the head are extremely low and when the assailant has a bomb strapped to himself, a concealed weapon will do little to reduce the carnage.

        One of the assailants was denied entry into the soccer stadium and blew himself up.

        Besides, do you REALLY think it’s a good idea to allow people into a heavy metal concert with a concealed firearm? This wasn’t the opera. A better solution would be to hire armed security officers at these venues. Former police officers, military personnel.

        Besides, a concealed carry permit is most effective when they’re limited to those with the experience and training… which would actually require stricter gun control laws.

        1. GOD BLESS YOU, FIST 2014!
          We should exterminate them, just like all the liberal leftist vermin that have ruined this once proud nation that you love so much. Fascist Pig. You are no different than ISIS.

            1. I am an American who has stood by our Presidents, no matter if I agree with them or not. America first.
              Traitors like you only stand behind your “team”, and have caused irrespirable harm to our Country.
              America. Love it or leave it.

    2. Those immigrants have been around longer than just a few weeks ago. I would hazard a guess and say that they probably been around for more than a generation. It’s very easy to blame the easiest target…..like it is nothing to do with the millions displaced by turning Libya into a ungoverned wilderness, or the destruction of Iraq on complete BS lies about WMD’s or the destruction of Syria based on another popular piece of BS like “he kills his own people”. Maurice has been bombing these States and destroying all their State infrastructure until there is no State left to govern. You cannot blame this on immigration. It is simply what happens when you indiscriminately bomb countries and try to regime change them under the pretence of helping the people or spreading democracy. The US created ISIS, AlQaeda, AlNusra or whatever other terrorists groups now exist. They created them so they could fight amongst themselves and kill each other out. However, this Murican plan didn’t turn out to be so simple. These groups are now causing what is commonly called “blowback” by getting idiot followers (who don’t know what is going on in the world) to do their dirty deeds. These are dangerous times.

    3. I see, immigrants are the problem, right? Do you live in the US? Are you a aboriginal person or did your family immigrate there sometime in the past?

      Ignorance is the biggest impediment to peace and you have a lot to learn about humanity and the world. The biggest single source of the spread of lawfulness is the experience of living in a lawful society. When we are all obedient to the law, we have the greatest freedom. These immigrants are learning to appreciate the rule of law and we need to be just and fair to them to help propel their learning.

      Rejecting them is the surest way to alienate them and make them resentful. Intolerance is NOT a virtue. We are all in this life together and it is not your job to be a bigot.

    4. So people think it’s Snowden’s fault. Really? Ignorant sods.

      We live in a time when intelligence agencies have become entirely too dependent upon information technology.

      Everything is about SIGINT – signals intelligence, or COMINT – Communications Intelligence. Eavesdropping, encryption, decryption, steganography, hacking, electronic intrusion, electronic surveillance, facial recognition, quantum computers to crack passwords, and on and on. They think they’re going to sit in the comfort of their multi-billion dollar spy headquarters, secretly watch the world, and when they spot some bat shit crazy clown, send in the drones.

      Well it doesn’t always work that way. This isn’t TV. Human intelligence will always be more actionable, clearly defined, and reliable. Turning and nurturing spies is an art. It takes years. Then you point your SIGNALS gathering armada at your spies.

      “…Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.

      Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation.

      Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other men…” – Sun Tzu

      You can watch my social media accounts all you want. You can build complex multi sourced isomorphic networks of my friends. You can record my telephone conversations. When it comes down to it, if I decide to commit an act of terror, the last thing I’m going to do is go near an electronic communication device of any kind. In the age the Internet of Things, dead drops are all the rage.

      If I have compatriots, we will only plan in person. In fact I will be the only one who knows everyone. We will also only meet OUTSIDE of your country. Especially when we know getting into your country will be the easiest part of the whole damn plan. So what good is your SIGINT ? It’s primarily good for one thing. Spying on the masses of innocent citizens in your own country.

      So it’s no surprise when the alphabet soup of agencies get caught with their pants down. It’s inevitable.

      I can also almost guarantee you that the assholes who attacked France will have been on one or more agency’s radar, possibly including France, but the information they will have garnered with all of their SIGINT won’t have been terribly useful. And if you think that Snowden’s reveal has curbed the French or Americans from spying on their own, you’re naive.

    5. Yeah, so a pack of rabid wahabbi goat-fuckers get all bent out of shape because the NSA is committing crimes against Americans, so they decide to go berserk on the French?

      Sounds legit. Totally.

      -jcr

        1. Whatever Botty. Context is everything.

          There actually is a link. Much human conflict is rooted in resource limitations. Some societies wrap it up in culture or religion, but the root of many wars comes down to power grab for resources. As the overpopulated Middle East, Africa, and other formerly fertile regions continue to get smacked by global warming, the desperation and disenfrachisement grows. It is compounded by corrupt governments, of course, which makes it easy for terrorist organizations to recruit new youth.

          If the garden of eden wasn’t now a desert, then there would be opportunity for more people to make a peaceful living and it would be far harder for terrorists to spread their hate and resentment of the people who live in prosperous regions of the world which, in general, are not yet too acutely affected by climate change.

    6. “Paris is Snowden’s fault” REALLY???
      Fanatical religious practices have nothing to do with it?
      Crazy people sending kids to die in suicide bombers?
      people mass killing concert goers.

      all due to Snowden showing NSA illegally taping into our media. Yep, you really thought that one out. /s

      1. It’s a religion that has been hijacked by murderers and the the people in this religion won’t take ownership and kick out the scum.

        Why aren’t there laws that prohibit preaching murder. Where are parents to not teach 6 yearolds that it’s ok to behead a man????

        I’m not sure this is any different than the nazis. They took over Germany. There were lots of good Germans that went along. We had to defeat the nation. A lot of people died who weren’t necessarily bad, but didn’t leave or didn’t stand up against evil.

        I know the liberal press goes nuts when we kill “innocent” people but we cant win this war trying to only kill guys who achieve some level of evil when the local government and religion let the evil and hate grow.

  1. America must stand with our allies against the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism. This is an evil that does not discriminate between French, German or American, Christian, Muslim or Jew, soldier, football player, or concert goer. Their only goal is to murder those who do not submit to their vicious, totalitarian ideology. Our deepest condolences go out to our French allies, and I know the government of the United States stands by to offer any assistance necessary.

    We must now face the facts. Between the downing of the Russian jet over Egypt and this massive coordinated attack on Paris, we are seeing an unmistakable escalation of ISIS’ ambitions and the scale of their terrorist attacks outside Syria and Iraq. Even as chaos rages in Paris, we need to take immediate, commonsense steps to preserve our own safety. We need to consult closely with our NATO allies who may be targeted for additional attacks. We need to immediately declare a halt to any plans to bring refugees that may have been infiltrated by ISIS to the United States. We need to redouble our efforts to prevent ISIS agents from penetrating our nation by other means.

    Such steps, however, are defensive reactions to an enemy that will continue to try to attack us until they succeed once again. We must immediately recognize that our enemy is not ‘violent extremism.’ It is the radical Islamism that has declared jihad against the west. It will not be appeased by outreach or declarations of tolerance. It will not be deterred by targeted airstrikes with zero tolerance for civilian casualties, when the terrorists have such utter disregard for innocent life. We must make it crystal clear that affiliation with ISIS and related terrorist groups brings with it the undying enmity of America—that it is, in effect, signing your own death warrant.U.S. Senator Ted Cruz [R-Texas]

    1. Ted Cruz, the guy who had to have science publicly explained to him.

      Please, quote someone with a brain.

      Incidentally, people on the other side of the planet didn’t start hating us for our freedom.

      Propping up evil dictators with weapons for oil turns regular people against us.

      Helping overthrow foreign DEMOCRATICALLY elected governments turns regular people against us.

      Fighting major wars with countries who did not attack us, turns regular people against us.

      Killing innocent civilians along with bad guys turns regular people against us.

      1. He may not be sharp but he’s RIGHT. And I’m a Canadian who knows nothing about him! I just know the whole world must act to exterminate ISIS ! They are the single most dangerous threat to modern civilization.
        Apparently you aren’t paying attention to what ISIS are doing. They are not doing it to “us” as you mention. Get over yourself. The whole world is their target.

        1. Of course we should exterminate them.

          But they are nowhere near the single most dangerous threat to modern civilization. They are nowhere near as dangerous as the cold war was, or a potential worldwide plague, or other really global threats.

          They are vermin who make a lot of noise and get a lot of attention show should be eliminated. But that’s it.

          The chances of anyone in the western world of being harmed by terrorists is infinitely smaller than being in a car wreck, being given a bad prescription, or thousands of other threats.

          Don’t pay ISIS more fear than they deserve.

            1. What kind of hollow BS is that, bot? As if you intend to write a personal letter to anyone.

              How disrespectful to pretend that you personally care about the victims. We all know you’re too selfish and lazy to actually express sincere condolences to anyone. You’re just arguing in favor of violent retaliation, because that’s what Fox/RNC sells you.

              Parisians have bounced back just fine without your political BS. Tragedies like this galvanize a people to unite and stand up. But it is completely disingenuous to use the victims for YOUR political posturing. Nobody deserves to be used to feed extreme paranoid fears of those who think closed borders are in any way safer than open welcoming cultures. Fear and paranoia, which is the bread and butter of the right wingers in every nation, needs to be squashed.

              If you really cared about life and justice, volunteer in your local community. Teach your own kids to put down their iPhones and drive properly. Teach kids how to swim. Teach kids to stay away from drugs. Teach kids how to eat heathy. Because the leading causes of preventable death ARE NOT in any way related to terrorism. They are car accidents, drowning, cardiovascular disease, and gang activity.

              Coincidentally, these reasons for death are all areas where “liberal” people recommend we pay some attention as a society, and all areas where “conservative” people claim that nothing can be done, individuals are supposed to automatically find the right path. Instead, the vast majority of right wingers keep pushing the USA to spend even more than the $583.5 billion on defense it does today. Money well spent? I think not.

  2. Snowden posed as a whistleblower even though in reality he was much closer to being a traitor than whistleblower or activist. He knew better than anyone that the information being collected was not the invasion of privacy that he pretended it to be. Anyone who actually takes the time to think about it realized that each day there are hundreds of millions of millions if not billions of phone calls made in the United States each day. The intelligence agencies simply do not have enough employees to sit and listen to even the smallest percentage of those calls. Only certain calls that fit the criteria by having certain tagwords detected may or may not be monitored. Even if one of our calls actually were monitored, as unlikely as that might be, most of us are not doing anything illegal in the sense that it would be a threat to national security anyway. If it was, then we deserve to be monitored.

    1. Hey Joe. You are either one dumb shit or an algorithm troll programmed to spew government endorsed comments on any blog entry that mentions Snowden.

      Either way FU.

      Snowden is a hero who gave up his freedom to warn the American people that their government was violating the Constitution.

      1. I’m Canadian, not American. And I, too, applaud the principles of Edward Snowden. He is right. Surveillance organizations have begun overstepping their authority, and then claiming that they are doing in it in the best interest of the people. That’s no different than a police interviewer saying “we want to help you, tell us the truth”, only to have them use that information, likely out of context, against you in the end. Or airlines preventing bottles of water onto the plane. Where does this stop? When does the fear-mongering stop? Not with self-interest organization and governments, but with the people. I fully support the stance that Snowden is promoting… a healthy balance between privacy and authority. Anyone that thinks that encryption is unnecessary is uninformed.

      2. Actually, he’s both. Right idea, wrong execution (no pun intended). He could have easily brought attention to these gross violations of privacy and the US Constitution without having put operatives in peril and confirming things that we already know happen but don’t publicly air – for example, spying on our own allies. Running away to Russia of all places, seriously? Switzerland, OK, but Russia indicates some seriously warped thinking.

        1. JimBob you are 100% correct. Snowden exposed something but sit is in the absolute worst way.

          He was not, an is not, a “whistleblower”. A whistleblower is someone who reports something through appropriate channels to expose wrongdoing. There are significant legal protections for whistleblowers even within the intelligence community. Snowden did not even attempt to access any of those protections.

          Snowden ran to another country with classified information THEN published a fraction of the information he had stolen. He later got sanctuary in a country that is NOT friendly to the US (Russia) in exchange for giving that country access to a lot of the classified information that he had not published. (What? You thought Snowden got asylum in Russia just because the Russians are nice guys?)

          How can ANYONE think giving the Russians U.S. classified information (of any type) — that was then, in limited form given by the Russians to the Chinese — be anything like justification for calling anyone a hero?

          Yes, the NSA and others have been doing things they should not. Blame Executive Orders by U.S. Presidents going as far back as Reagan, both Bushes, and continuing with Obama for the U.S. intelligence communities, DoD, and police forces for thinking they have unfettered rights to spy on U.S. citizens even when they are acting lawfully within the U.S.

          However, ANYONE — yes, literally ANYONE — who thinks the Paris attacks are Snowden’s fault clearly has no clue how the international community and the various intelligence communities work.

          1. Snowself,
            So you are sure that the NSA etc would thank him for being such a nice person and let him be. Big laugh. Big. Whistleblowers in this country are punished to the full extent of the companies abilities to get away with.

            Snowden knew what he had and it scared him right out of this country. Even the president things he should be punished. Pres. Obama, you are clearly out of your knowledge level on this one. Or just playing politics to get votes.

            Just saying.

            1. I have to partially agree with Shadowself though..
              there are MANY senators that have agendas against people like the NSA etc, Snowden had MANY other ways to get the problems dealt with, he chose to be a traitor instead.

              Snoden’s files he stole have endangered MI6 agents already.. and thats just what we do know. Who knows how many others may have been endangered or even killed.

              As far as Snowden being responsible for Paris?.. i’m *NOT* one of those that blames him for this.. at some point there may be evidence to prove me wrong.. but I don’t yet.
              Possible yes, but I doubt it.

            2. You are nuts.

              Nobody else did it. Saying what he did was easy, or that their were easy alternative ways to do it is just plain ignorant.

              If it were easy to blow the whistle, the NSA would never have been able to keep such secrets.

        2. Trying to whistleblow through “legitimate channels” would have gotten Snowden dead before he reached the second sentence. The NSA plays for keeps because they believe everything they do is for the betterment of America. It’s pretty easy to justify anything with that kind of reasoning.

          1. And the NSA answers to whom? oh yeah… CONGRESS. The very people he could have received his asylum with.

            https://www.rt.com/usa/nsa-obama-whistleblowers-letter-337/

            “A group of former National Security Agency insiders who went on to become whistleblowers”

            WAIT…. WTF???….. You mean there HAS been other NSA whistleblowers? and the NSA couldn’t kill them?……

            Maybe I had some proof to fall back on after you ignorant folks spewed forth your praise of a traitor. hmm…

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Binney_(U.S._intelligence_official)

            Wow… an NSA Whistleblower… who the NSA didn’t kill….

            https://www.eff.org/press/releases/three-nsa-whistleblowers-back-effs-lawsuit-over-governments-massive-spying-program

            What? the EFF has 3 NSA whistleblowers TESTIFY and still live?????…. (one being Binney)

            Snowden=Traitor plain and simple.

        3. JimBob,
          “He could have easily…”
          Except nobody else did. Its pretty rich to declare that someone who sacrificed a lot to give us vital information (responsibly through journalists) could have done so using alternate ways more easily when nobody else was doing us the service by taking this “easy” route that you speak of.

    2. Snowden made us aware of billions of felonies committed daily at taxpayer expense. The crimes of the NSA are not merely illegal, they are specifically prohibited by the constitution.

      You can go fuck yourself.

      -jcr

    1. Yeah, get back to us when this country has a justice system again. As long as people like GWB, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, BHO, and Lois Lerner are walking around loose, you’re full of shit.

      -jcr

    1. If this was a tweet I would retweet it……..

      F Dana Perino. F her and all of her neocon kind.

      In addition I would add that SHE and her buddy Bush put in place all that is happening today…..NOT Snowdon.

  3. Maybe, just maybe, the reasons for the terrorist attacks in Paris include:

    1. Bombing the shit out of countries like Syria and Libya
    2. Killing civilians, i.e. collateral damage, with drone strikes
    3. Destabilizing countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc.
    4. Supporting Zionists who are killing innocent Palestinians and taking their land
    4. Allowing uncontrolled immigration into European countries
    5. Incompetent government organizations that that can’t find the moon on a clear night
    6. Governmental security groups who spend far more time spying on normal citizens then looking for foreign nutcases who want to kill citizens

    Yeah, let’s forget all the above reasons because it is Snowden’s fault.

    1. Agree with 1, 2 and 3.
      But your last three are way off base.
      As for the “Zionists,” our support for Israel is NOT the part of our Middle East policy that’s to blame. It’s our support of the most barbaric state in the region, Saudi Arabia, that’s the problem.

      The Saudi’s are the ones funding ISIS, the one’s who flew planes into the World Trade Center, the country that decapitates people FAR more often than ISIS does, and one of the primary recipients of US military aid and support in the world.

      Why? Cheap oil.

      Want to be truly patriotic? Put solar on your roof and buy a car that gets at least 40mpg. Better yet, move closer to your job so you don’t need to drive at all.

      1. Saudi Arabia.. We agree on something.
        But it’s not only them supporting ISIS, also Syria.
        (I think there has been a few others linked to them as well financially, but not 100% certain so not going to accuse them accidentally)

      1. You think it’s CHILDISH to suggest ISIS and Al Queda aren’t motivated (at least in part) by the West bombing the crap out of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region?

        Wouldn’t YOU want revenge if, say, Russia started bombing the hell out of your home town?

        1. Maybe you forget our bombing of THEM is retaliation, so to give them a pass in the form of implying they DESERVE the right to bomb us is childish for not looking far enough back.

        2. Are you nuts?

          Can you then explain why they kidnapped thousands of women to be sex slaves for their “soldiers”?

          They kill anyone who doesn’t agree with them, they abuse all women.

          These are the same as Nazi’s. Those folks hijacked a government and did the same atrocities within Germany to achieve total control. Isis has hijacked a religion that serves as the basic government in the middle east and is committing atrocities to consolidate its control over the region. They are coming after us whether we bomb them or not.

          1. There was however the British Mandate of Palestine, the borders of which are exactly those of modern-day Israel and the Palestinian Territories. It was distinct from Transjordan, the Mandate that later became the Kingdom of Jordan. Before the establishment of Israel the name Palestine was even used by Jewish settlers to the area and Jewish-owned companies doing business there, and the term “Palestinian” referred to all inhabitants of the area, regardless of whichever Bronze Age nonsense they prostrated themselves to.

            So if you were from that area, and didn’t identify as Israeli, what would you refer to yourself as?

    2. Imagine your family, your mother, your father, your brothers and sisters, your wife, your children, killed by in invading force of occupiers. Would you feel nothing? Would you do nothing? Of course not. You would want to extract revenge by any means necessary. This is what is feeding these “armies”.
      It’s the same emotion that American leaders used to enable an attack on Iraq after 9/11.
      When will we ever learn, war solves nothing.
      Very disappointing that after all the carnage of the 20th century, we have learned NOTHING. Sabre rattling and dick-shaking until we’re all dead. Hang in there planet earth, we’re about to give it all back to you. Sorry about the mess.

      dmz

      1. Actually, you are completely wrong. WWII settled many of issues in Europe and parts of Asia. Other issues arose and were settled by the THREAT of a (MAD) war.

        As far as the Middle East and how America wages ‘war’, it will continue until there is an actual war and not a ‘controlled police action’ as we have done since Korea.

        Real war is only needed when both sides understand the loser will be totally annihilated, yet one attacks the other regardless. That seldom happens anymore, least of all to our enemies.

        I used to believe our method was moral and Christian, but now realize it has not worked for the simple fact we leave out enemies intact to fight another day. This wastes the lives of those who died and should be avoided from now on.

        For this reason I wish we would have the backbone to tell out businessmen in the Middle East they have 10 years to divest their holdings because we will no longer defend any interest there save for Israel. Buy our energy from the North and South American countries as much as possible and let the Arabs compete with Russia for the European market.

        Then if we are attacked again, that region or country will be totally annihilated and left to rot. This is how you end the slow carnage that drains our society of freedoms we claim to defend and want for others.

      1. You seemed to manage to reply to yourself, so stop blaming an app when it’s obviously operator error.

        (Backlash’s great ability to hit a “reply” button strikes again)

        1. Not the only one it’s happened with.

          Would love to stay logged in to the app as well.. But that’s asking too much.
          After all the app was last updated how long ago?…

    1. Backlash – Before 1948, the Arab residents had been there for hundreds of years. Yes, Israel had the land before the Palestinians — two thousand years earlier. Not sure that counts.

      By your thinking, should we give Italy back all the land under the control of the Roman Empire? Or give all of North America back to the Native Americans? It’s not that simple.

      1. That’s their exact point, we should forget the Israelites and ONLY think of the Arabs that had the land due to the Ottoman Empire.

        Which is my point, people only want to understand/discuss recent history.. Go back 100+ years? That’s insane.

        Much of the “Palestinian” land occupied MUCH of the Middle East, yet all attacks are aimed at Israel. Where is the right of return argument aimed at Syria etc?

      2. So there were no Jews in the Middle East until 1948?
        Who controlled the land before 1948? Turks? Brits?
        And for how long? Should they have all been required to live together, like India pre-Pakistan?
        Do you understand WHY they were divided, along with Christians in Lebanon?

        As usual, your reply is very murky, simplistic and shortsighted.

      1. Technically the US created a 2nd country (multiple) inside the US for them… and the VERY same thing (their own state) has caused the Palestinians to attack Israel since day one.

        Palestinians want ALL Jews wiped from the face of the Earth. (read/listen to them)
        Sounds similar to Hitler… hmmm.

    2. Explain to me Native Americans.

      (You know, the people who had the land long before the “Americans”)

      Just one problem with YOUR bs rant.

      You logic defies, ummm, logic.

      Cheers!

      dmz

  4. The USA is the largest, best equipped and organized terrorist group on the planet. It created, through its actions since WWII, the environment we now all face. It’s exceptional, alright.

    1. The United States is history’s most powerful and preeminent force for freedom, goodness and human dignity.
      It is moral relativism such as yours that equates forces for good with forces for evil.

  5. Terror attacks have almost nothing to do with data encryption, compared to to the radicalization of organized belief systems. Whether those organized belief systems are religious, or political, or racial, or gender specific, or economic system, or ecological/environmental, or some other organized belief, the radicals strike out against what they see as the opposition.

    Data encryption is a tool, a tool we can not live without in our modern digital world. Blaming data encryption is no more logical than blaming the gun instead of the shooter. The stronger our individual and organizational encryption systems the safer we are from the utter devastation that could result from cyber terrorism.

    To battle terrorism will involve addressing how each of use as world citizens choose to align ourselves with organized belief systems. Be very careful how you judge others before taking a look at how you have committed to your own organized beliefs – you religious, political, social, economic, racial, sexual, environmental, etc beliefs that are founded far more on faith and feelings than on facts and logic than you may be able to admit.

    There are people out there doing crazy evil things based on unbending commitment to their beliefs, and following the dictates of some leaders of some radicalized element or flavor of organized beliefs that may be pretty main stream. My suggestion might be to avoid any affiliation with any religious, political, or other group that commands your unquestioning commitment without the doubts that your own reasoning mind will always raise.

    Encryption, that’s a little thing in our attack on the radicals, but could be a big thing in their attack on us!

    1. Data encryption has its place but I believe cyberterrorism is more concerned with systems than the data.. If the system is hardened enough, even with light encryption on the actual data it is very difficult to force such hardened system to do anything ‘bad’

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