Counterterrorism, Red Herrings and Encryption

There is a lot of rumbling lately regarding terrorism and encryption. The narrative follows the line that we must allow the government complete ability to access our entire phone, email, IM’s and any other conversations. These conversations may or may not contain actual references to terrorist acts. If we do not allow this access then the world will be in great danger and it will be our own fault. How can we connect the dots if we can’t access the dots?  This is, of course a red herring. In other words, this has nothing to do with, or at least very little to do with the fight against terror. It is instead a great power grab and loss of privacy. It’s also dangerous.  As Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said recently, “If you leave a back door in the software, there is no such thing as a back door for good guys only”.  We don’t need access to private conversations of all citizens to identify current threats and where they originate. Jon Callas of Silent Circle, a company focused on smartphone voice and chat encryption says, that if they create an encryption key that could obtain a customer’s conversations for the US government he would have to give that key to foreign governments also in order to comply with their laws.  It’s as if our own government just doesn’t understand what it’s talking about.  Surprising, yes?

If we were truly were concerned about stopping terror, we would attack the sources. In the many years since 911, for example, how has the Saudi government escaped any consequences for their open support of radical Islam? Publicly, they deny the forces of Islamic terror yet privately they have funded and built most of the radical mosques and madrasas world-wide. Since the 911 attacks in New York, it is estimated that the number of Mosques in the US has risen by 75%. Some studies suggest that 80% of Mosques present literature or sermons that support violence against non-believers.  Yet, because of pressure from pro-terrorist organization like CAIR and others, we have curtailed the surveillance of Mosques in recent years.  In other words we simply gave in to the political correctness.

Also, remember that Saudi Arabia practices some of the strictest forms of Sharia. Yet, we support this repressive government continually. If we were to admit that Saudi Arabia is part of the problem that would throw our foreign policy into chaos.  We would have to admit for many years we have supported those that would destroy us.

Other countries such as Iran and Pakistan have open invitations to terror organizations. All the while US and European leaders act completely dumbfounded as to why terrorism continues. We cannot seem to point out, let alone face those countries and organizations that harbor and finance terror. The fact is we know who is promoting most of the terror incidents in the world yet we don’t take any substantial action against these parties. In fact, with Iran we have freed up their funds to continue to promote terror directly against the west.

It’s not the average citizen that is a threat. Instead of concentrating on known threats the political class would rather take the average citizens rights away.

With the additional lack of immigration and border enforcement, we have shown the terrorist that we are weak and naive. In fact we are more than naive, we are bordering on suicidal, at least culturally speaking.

While our governments focus on the ability to rummage through our citizens private conversations, the enemy is openly invading, all with our own governments (US and Europe) support.



2 thoughts on “Counterterrorism, Red Herrings and Encryption

  1. Well, one of the reasons to fight terrorists overseas and draw them to fight on their own turf, is because the wise humans figured out that if Western governments wanted to fight terrorism on the home front, they would naturally devolve into totalitarian states sooner or later.

    Capturing terrorists overseas and bringing them to GitMo, doesn’t get into the whole “citizen vs not” issue that would happen if they tried that in America. The number of false positives of American citizens caught overseas that were terrorists, would not be that high.

    These days, Waco 2 and various other incidents, shows that trying to fight terrorists at home, under Demoncrats at least, has a very high false positive rating.

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