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

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.]


  1. a bunch of things pop into my brain digesting this article and the terrible events of Paris and I’m going to list them up randomly:

    1) Frances’s issues with Islamic terrorism is long. a big contributing factor is due to the large number of muslim immigrants to their country due to France’s colonial past (e.g Algerian war and retreat). there are about 5 million muslims out of a population of 60 m , with very high unemployment rates.

    2) I suspect governments love ability to spy on their citizens not just because of terrorism but ALSO for politicians just to KEEP POWER. Snowden documents reveal that spying was done on other politicians for example including those of foreign countries, even the Chancellor of Germany’s phone was tapped.

    FBI boss Edgar Hoover and his ‘special files’ (corruption, sex indiscretions etc of politicians) use as a blackmail tool including against presidents pops into mind.

    Surveillance is start on a slippery slope and leads to other ‘electronic enforcement’. For example I’ve been to a foreign country where the Government CAN ELECTRONICALLY FREEZE YOUR CREDIT CARDS AND BANK ACCOUNTS AND ALSO YOUR NATIONAL I.D (like social security but more potent and driving license which means the person can’t get a job and basically starve ) , All WITOUT NEED FOR COURT ORDER and IN SECRET because they say ‘it’s a security issue’). Imagine if a government can secretly ERASE (not just freeze) your bank account without court order …

    3) I live in Canada. Our brand new PM Justin Trudeau (Total lifetime work experience 2 years as a school teacher and bit parts as an actor ) wants to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees in 2015, i.e in the NEXT MONTH. to process through 600,000 refugees it was suggested to do BATCH SCREENING i.e ONE or TWO refugees out of a batch say 100 who came together will be screened. if those two pass the whole batch is deemed ok….
    (and this in spite of the fact that Canada is under an Islamic kill list Fatwa due to it’s helping U.s in Afghanistan , fighting ISIS etc, so every muslim will supposedly get blessed if they kill Canadians… )

    Canada is filled with kind hearted and wonderful people but really…
    and people blame Encryption….

    Look to what your politicians do first before just blaming encryption.

    1. I forgot to add in point 3) that the freezing of bank and credit accounts etc. case used in the foreign country (where I was) was used against an opposition SENATOR in government who wanted to show evidence of government corruption (the fear of God was put into everybody and nobody including lawyers wanted to defend the Senator. It was not taken up by the international press as ‘nobody was killed or hurt’ !) . Problem with certain ‘anti terrorism’ laws is that without proper checks they can be easily misused.

    2. Dave, you are missing the big hole in Trudeau’s plan to bring in ISIS. Trudeau only has a 56 word vocabulary.

      It will take 6 to 8 months to get Trudeau capable to greet those ISIS bastards.

  2. Wow. Nice one you opportunistic crypto-fascists. Guess you know what the government really wants when they ask for things only when people are frightened and grieving.

    Where is all this surveillance when these jokers can bring ACTUAL assault rifles to a packed concert venue?

    Clue one. They don’t want these powers for your safety. They want it for theirs. Especially after you find out what they’ve done for years and years now.

    At least we know that if they didn’t send the bad guys in themselves, they’ll be eager to hang the hides of them on the barn door.

    They simply can’t stand not having a monopoly on violence.

  3. Are people seriously this ignorant? We’re blaming the messenger now?

    These attacks were carried out in the name of RELIGION and nothing else. Countless atrocities have been committed in the name of religion. See the crusades, the holocaust, etc.

  4. Of course I’m going to say RE: F Snowden…

    C O M P L E T E
    U T T E R
    B U L L S H I T

    No, totalitarian dicks. We are NOT giving up our rights to privacy for the sake of your personal PARANOIA and CONTROL ISSUES.

    The ‘1984’ scenario is the enemy. Allow it to happen and the terrorists WIN. It’s that simple.

    Bless you whistleblowers for FIGHTING and SUFFERING for our rights.

    NO terrorists, we’re not going to give in to your insanity and other personal problems. Keep them to yourself! You have NO rights to shove them into our lives. Kill us as you will, we will NEVER GIVE IN. Our rights shall endure, despite you.

    How is this complicated?

  5. “The reason for mass encryption is the misuse of mass surveillance.”
    There’s more than one reason. Another is the hacking of institutions that inadequately safeguarded consumers’ financial and personal information, prompting consumers to take matters into their own hands.

  6. Too easy to blame others for one’s system blindness.
    Too easy not to question oneself about the origin of crises.
    Extremism is everywhere. Even in the heart of people believing their not extreme at all…

  7. 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.

    It was coordinated in Belgium, that is why they didn’t see that coming.

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