Encrypt Your Data

Do you want another reason to encrypt your data? According to a former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) counter-terrorism agent everything electronic communication is being intercepted:

On Wednesday night, Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between the two. He quite clearly insisted that they could:

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It’s not a voice mail. It’s just a conversation. There’s no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: “No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: “So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: “No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.”

Is Mr. Clemente telling the truth? Are all electronic communications being intercepted or is he putting out misinformation to make people believe the state is omnipotent? I’m not sure but encrypting your communications is the best defense against pervasive snooping and would render the state’s surveillance powers irrelevant.