James Clapper, director of National Intelligence has blamed the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for making it harder for the US to monitor and arrest terrorists by advancing the development of more advanced and widely available encryption.
Clapper commented at a breakfast for journalists, hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, that the increased adoption rates were not positive for the public as a whole and noted that the adoption of more advanced encryption has been sped up by about seven years.
The Intercept pressed Clapper on this figure and he said it came from the NSA. Clapper and the NSA have come to a conclusion from data that likely won't release that shows Snowden and his leaks as the guilty party. “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.”
As it has allowed consumers to be better protected, some technology experts that have spent years working to strengthen encryption have praised the arrival of better encryption, whether or not it was because of Snowden.
Clapper said, “In the history of mankind, since we've been doing signals intelligence, there's really no such thing, given proper time, and proper application of technology, as unbreakable encryption.” The spy chief believes the problem is lost time and what Snowden and his leaks really cost the government.
Shortly after Clapper's comments were released, Snowden tweeted saying that of all the things he's been accused of over the years, “this is the one of which I am most proud.”