Encryption’s Role in the Paris Attacks Appears Negligible
Information coming out of Paris contradicts intelligence officials’ claims that Edward Snowden’s leaks and the increased use of encrypted communications helped the attackers in last week’s assault carry out their deadly rampage.
Dan Froomkin reports at The Intercept:
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.
The Telegraph reported that “eyewitness accounts and surveillance of mobile telephone traffic” suggested that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected strategist of both the Paris attack and one that was foiled in Belgium, was staying at the safe house.
Details about the major ISIS terror plot averted 10 months ago in Belgium also indicate that while Abaaoud previously attempted to avoid government surveillance, he did not use encryption.
A prescient bulletin sent out in May by the Department of Homeland Security assessed “that the plot disrupted by Belgian authorities in January 2015 is the first instance in which a large group of terrorists possibly operating under ISIL direction has been discovered and may indicate the group has developed the capability to launch more complex operations in the West.”
Read more here.
— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.Your support matters…
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