Friday, August 30, 2013

Greenwald, Miranda, and Encryption Keys




It isn’t essential to my world view for Snowden et. al. to be supercompetent, supersecure, superleakers…or for them to be stupid, narcissistic, traitors.

But it seems to be important for some people…

So the British allegation that Miranda was carrying a written decrypt key on his person at Heathrow, and the British police have been able to decrypt 75 files has generated a considerable amount of hoo-hah.

My humble opinion:

Greenwald and Miranda could have been guilty of sloppy tradecraft.  Maybe.

But I think it’s equally possible that the British spooks are loading documents onto Miranda’s seized electronics themselves so they can recover them and announce the Snowden gang is a bunch of reckless and dangerous dingbats.

Only way that Greenwald could rebut the allegation would be to decrypt everything on the drive and say “You see! Those documents weren’t part of the dump (or already were in a different folder).  They’ve been added!”

Don’t see him doing this.

I had the same thought when the Independent published a document that it said was among the documents Snowden had taken.  I noticed they didn’t say “We obtained Snowden’s digital copy of the document.”  It was more like, “We got this document.  GCHQ says Snowden’s got it (too).”

That kind of activity helps divert the narrative from “Snowden reveals massive surveillance” to “Snowden endangers spooks and national security.”

I don’t think that’s an accident…and I think that it would be considered worth diddling with Miranda’s electronics to get this kind of result.

Just sayin…

21 comments:

blowback said...

It would be funny if Miranda was carrying nothing from Snowden and was only there to misdirect the British security services away from the person who really was carrying material from Berlin back to Greenwald and the only thing the files in storage on his various bits of electronic kit contained was nothing but random data. GCHQ and the NSA could tie up a lot of processing capacity for a very long time trying to decrypt it.

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Kris Ryan said...

Honestly, it's a big conspiracy theory. Data Encryption keys and files in ONE single storage location really just doesn't seem prudent to me so either these dudes are milking the incident for all its worth or…

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