Snowden Leaks Cost Lives: Extremists Changed Tactics After Fugitive’s Leaks About Intelligence Surveillance Operations

Snowden Leaks Cost Lives: Extremists Changed Tactics After Fugitive’s Leaks About Intelligence Surveillance Operations

Ian Drury, writing in the November 25, 2014 edition of the London newspaper, The Daily Mail, writes that “lives are being lost to terrorists,” because of the Edward Snowden leaks — which recklessly exposed sensitive intelligence sources and methods. My only question for Mr. Drury and TheDailyMail — is what took you so long? I have been warning and writing about these downside consequences of Snowden’s leaks for over a year.

Mr. Drury writes that “Lord West, a former Admiral who served as U.K. Security Minister until 2010, warned that extremists changed their tactics, after the U.S. fugitive leaked details (techniques, tactics, and procedures) of intelligence agency operations — with fatal results.” These same sentiments were recently echoed by former New York City Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly, who recently said that “leaks from Snowden had caused huge damage. People I know, certainly in the U.S. government, say this is the worst leak they are aware of. The damage is significant, and ongoing; you can see it has also damaged relations between the U.S. and other countries,” including the U.S. Intelligence Community’s — intelligence sharing partnerships.”

Lord West said, “terrorist groups, and in particular the Islamic State, — have changed their methods of communications; and, shifted to other ways of talking to each other,” something I have reported on this blog many times. “Consequently,” he added, “there are people are dying, who would [might] now be alive.”

Lord West urged the government [U.K.] to reintroduce the Communications Data Bill, that was paused so unreasonably — because there is a very real danger…that unless we do this, I think it is not exaggerating to say that people will die in this country who would have been safe if that had been in place.”

Baroness Stowell, the Leader of the House of Lords said: “The leaking by Snowden; and, the reporting of his leaks have had a serious effect on intelligence gathering — that is unquestionable.”

Virtually Every Terrorist Group Changing Tactics, Methods Of Communication In Aftermath Of Snowden Leaks

Kimberly Dozier, a journalist who has been reporting on intelligence and counterterrorism issues for nearly two decades; and, who was critically wounded in Iraq in 2006, wrote on June 26, 2014, in blog, quoted two senior U.S. Intelligence Community members then as saying, “members of virtually every terrorist group, including core al-Qaida, are attempting to change how they communicate, based on,” the Edward Snowden leaks. She added, “shortly after Edward Snowden leaked documents about the secret NSA surveillance programs, chat rooms and websites used by like-minded extremists and would-be recruits advised users how to avoid NSA detection, from telling them not to use their real phone numbers to recommending specific online software programs to keep spies from tracking their computers’ physical locations.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said there are “changes we can already see being made by the folks who wish to do us harm, and our allies harm.” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said Tuesday that Snowden “has basically alerted people who are enemies of this country … (like) al-Qaida, about what techniques we have been using to monitor their activities and foil plots, and compromised those efforts, and it’s very conceivable that people will die as a result.”

“After the leak, jihadists posted Arabic news articles about it … and recommended fellow jihadists to be very cautious, not to give their real phone number and other such information when registering for a website,” said Adam Raisman of the SITE Intelligence Group, a private analysis firm. They also gave out specific advice, recommending jihadists use privacy-protecting email systems like TOR, also called The Onion Router, to hide their computer’s IP address, and to use encrypted links to access jihadi forums, Raisman said. While TOR originally was designed to help dissidents communicate in countries where the Internet is censored, it is facing legal difficulties because criminals allegedly have used it as well.”

Rick Ledgett, the NSA Executive who headed the agency’s Damage Assessment [Snowden] Task Force told the Dec. 13, 2013 edition of “60 Minutes,” that this data [Snowden heist] contains the keys to the kingdom,” that could provide “adversaries with a roadmap of what we know, and what we don’t know.” It is actually much worse than that in my view. It also exposed extremely sensitive intelligence collection techniques, tactics, methods, procedures, locations, and sources, as well as “the secret operations [targeted] against [our] adversaries cyber capabilities.”

And, last year, the cyber security, bid-data firm, Recorded Future concluded that “al Qaeda and their sympathizers appear to have created new encryption software,” because of Snowden’s reckless disclosures. “Four months after the Snowden leaks,” Recorded Future wrote. “three Middle East [terrorist] groups released three — significant new tool sets for encryption,– against a baseline of basically no new products for the past seven years,” said Christopher Ahlberg, CEO of Recorded Future, which uses large quantities of publicly available online data — to predict the timing and targets of future cyber attacks.” “Of course this could be random.” added Mr. Ahlberg; but, “Snowden provided the motivation; and, his leaks highlighted the means.”

An inconvenient truth for all those who think Snowden is some kind of whistleblower and/or, hero. V/R, RCP

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