Jihadists didn't increase security due to NSA leaks

News by Chandni Sembhi

Edward Snowden's leaks about the NSA haven't caused Islamic terrorists to hide communications behind encryption software, according to a report by Flashpoint Partners.

The report states that their groups are now using more secure means of communication, but attributed this not to the leaks about the NSA, but to the development of encrypted communications packages made by the terrorists themselves; going against the GCHQ claim that terrorists have increased security measures because of Snowden's information about the NSA.

Flash Point researchers disagree with the timing of the leaks and the increase in jihadi terrorist's security being related, as over time, they charted releases of jihadi encryption software and how often discussions about encryption happened on jihadi forums, to see if Snowden's information really did have an impact on the increase in the security used by terrorist groups.

The conclusion of the analysis was that there was little evidence from jihadi social media to suggest that Snowden's leaks caused Al-Qaeda to improve their digital communications security, partly because they already knew that their online activity was being tracked. However, they have said that in order to be completely sure that the terrorist groups increased their security because of the leaks, access to information from the “inner workings of terrorist organisations” is needed.


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