Government agencies looking to use secret surveillance to do their job are really good at blaming civil liberties for making their task more difficult. But the push for more surveillance by some counterterrorism professionals dangerously encourages people around the world to give up their civil rights and civil liberties for a false sense of security. The narrative supports giving more tools – like backdoor access, eliminating data encryption services, and continuing the bulk collection of data – to intelligence agencies. But the attacks on Paris don’t support this narrative. First, terrorists have been using encryption since the 1990s; second, the use of encryption hasn’t increased since Snowden’s revelations; third, the Paris terrorists might have used encryption, but they were definitely using non-encrypted platforms to coordinate their attacks as well; fourth, mass surveillance is ineffective and a misuse of resources; fifth, mass surveillance undermines the freedom of thought and association that democracy depends on; we could keep going…

comments powered by Disqus