Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said the availability of commercial encryption software “had and is having major, profound effects on our ability” to gather intelligence on the Islamic State organization, the Christian Science Monitor reported Monday.
Anne Mulrine writes Clapper made the remarks at a Monitor-hosted breakfast Monday in Washington.
Leaks of classified data from the National Security Agency by former contractor Edward Snowden have expedited the launch of advanced encryption tools by approximately seven years, he told reporters.
Clapper, an inductee into Executive Mosaic’s Wash100 for 2016, said the development of unbreakable encryption tools could impede law enforcement authorities’ search efforts against terrorist groups and could “give the terrorists a pass.”
Clapper also mentioned the need to identify the balance between how to “ensure privacy and security on an individual basis, as well as security in the context of what’s best for the collective good.”