End-to-end encryption needed: Snowden

When former NSA contractor Edward Snowden speaks, it’s news.

So his remarks Monday by satellite to the annual South by Southwest technology festival in Austin, Texas were widely covered.  Here’s summaries and links to three of the stories, which emphasized different comments.

According to an account from Computerworld U.S. he called for enterprises to make more use of end to end encryption to protect data from being intercepted.

Snowden also refrained from saying social media companies like Google shouldn’t collect any personal data from their users. Instead, he said, they shouldn’t store data for long periods of time., which would mean hackers would have less of a chance to get it.

Snowden fled the U.S. and began leaking documents last summer outlining the tremendous data interception capabilities of electronic spy agencies in the U.S., Britain and Canada.

In its coverage quoted Snowden as saying wider use of encryption would force spy agencies to focus on suspicious people rather than vacuuming up data from thousands of people at a time.

Government spy agencies “as setting fire to the future of the Internet,” Snowden complained.

While Snowden’s revelations have been criticized in some quarters for endangering the security of some countries by exposing their capabilities, this report noted that he was applauded several times by those at the conference.

Meanwhile at Ars Technica, Joe Mullin quoted Snowden saying end to end encryption has to be made easier. If you have to go to a command line, people aren’t going to use it. if you have to go three menus deep, people aren’t going to use it.”

Do the Snowden revelations bother you? What, if anything, should enterprises do to protect communications and data from government electronic spy agencies? Let us know below

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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