Spy Chief Complains That Edward Snowden Sped Up Spread of Encryption by 7 Years


The director of national intelligence this week blamed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for advancing the development of user-friendly, widely available strong encryption, reports The Intercept.

“As a result of the Snowden revelations, the onset of commercial encryption has accelerated by seven years,” James Clapper said during a breakfast for journalists hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

The shortened timeline has had “a profound effect on our ability to collect, particularly against terrorists,” he said.

When pressed by The Intercept to explain his figure, Clapper said it came from the National Security Agency. “The projected growth maturation and installation of commercially available encryption — what they had forecasted for seven years ahead, three years ago, was accelerated to now, because of the revelation of the leaks.”

“From our standpoint, it’s not … it’s not a good thing,” he said. The Intercept