Snowden Disclosure Aids Al Qaeda
According the Middle East Media Research Institute, as a result of the Edward Snowden security leaks, Al Qaeda has changed its communication methods and altered its encryption practices to sidestep NSA surveillance.
Al Qaeda began using some encryption in 2007 but altered its encryption methods and ended its sharing of email addresses and other contact information once Snowden leaked information on NSA spying techniques.
For example, Al Qaeda used to provide email addresses and "encryption information" – including "encryption software" and an "encryption key" – in copies of its Inspire magazine so that readers could privately contact those producing the magazine. The contact information was particularly targeted toward "Western recruits," allowing them to send encrypted communications to those already within Al Qaeda's ranks.
Inspire has now suspended the email addresses, and in its most recent issue Al Qaeda actually praises Snowden for what he did.
U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) said Snowden's leaks will cost the U.S. "billions and billions of dollars." He added that because of the leaks, the "Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines... have to rebuild whole aspects of operations."
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.