Posted on Nov 20, 2015 by Rick Falkvinge

After Paris Attack Where Terrorists Used Cleartext Communications and Credit Cards, Police State Hawks Demand a Ban of Encryption and Bitcoin

It didn’t take long after the Paris terror attacks for police state hawks to demand more police powers. Bans on encryption have been suggested, as well as regulation of bitcoin by European interior ministers. But as it turns out, the terrorists communicated in cleartext and used their own traceable credit cards. This shows how police state hawks are exploiting all possible tragedies to demand more powers for themselves.

The bodies weren’t even cold before police state hawks jumped on the situation and demanded more powers to themselves. CIA director John Brennan, US Senator John McCain and others demanded a wholesale ban on encryption (or “backdoors” or “golden keys” for themselves or whatever euphemism for an effective ban on encryption), “because terrorism”.

But the terrorists didn’t use encryption. They were communicating completely in wiretappable open cleartext. They were also using their own, traceable, credit cards.

An editorial in the New York Times calls the pattern a “wretched yet predictable ritual” – how some people in authority positions immediately try to exploit tragedies to reduce liberty across the board. Yet, this time, it’s become more laughable than ever by those who circumvent the flow of mainstream oldmedia – which is increasingly becoming the majority of the population.

To top off the stupidity, Reuters reports that the European Union is preparing a crackdown on bitcoin in order to “curb terrorism in the wake of the Paris attacks”, when bitcoin wasn’t even used in the first place. Quoting the top Reddit comment: “They’re dumber than the terrorists.” It is apparent that these so-called authority figures are still living in a time when they were able to control the narrative.

And that’s the problem here, isn’t it?

Ten years ago, a lot of people believed that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction. It was an utter fabrication, a lie, that resulted in 1.2 million dead and the rise of Daesh (ISIL). What do the authority figures want people to believe today, in the exact same manner? For they haven’t changed in the slightest.

The problem here – for them – is the rise of the net, and more specifically, the loss of narrative, the ability for people to verify facts and talk between themselves rather than being spoonfed messages. Encryption and bitcoin are key technologies here. There’s no such thing any more as a Minister of Defense getting away with a lie in a public comment field; they’ll have their pants pulled down by a 14-year-old person with facts in less than 30 seconds. (This actually happened, in a surveillance debate to boot. They did not return to that public comment field. Friendly bloggers advised them that “when you’re debating on the Internet, you can’t lie”.)

Therefore, it’s not really surprising that these authority figures are pushing to ban the two technologies that undermine their own power (and which have nothing to do with the terrorism scapegoat). But they need to be called out on it. Again and again and again.

About Rick Falkvinge

Rick is Head of Privacy at Private Internet Access. He is also the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. Additionally, he has a tech entrepreneur background and loves good whisky and fast motorcycles.


VPN Service

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 Comments

  1. thePornster.com

    Well, they got the guns and gold out of europeans hands, they may as well get their paper money and bitcoins and herd them all to some EU version of FEMA camps. Where no pork shall be served, obviously.

    2 years ago
    Reply