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The Intercept editor says National Security Agency distrustful of anyone using encryption

March 11
5:59 AM 2014

The National Security Agency thinks that anyone who safeguards their online data by using encryption tools is hiding something suspicious and will thus hone in on them. This is the gist of what security journalist Glenn Greenwald, the editor of the digital publication "The Intercept" told participants at SXSWi through a Skype video call, VentureBeat reported.

As one of the three journalists who was given access by Edward Snowden to the classified documents concerning the agency's surveillance efforts, Greenwald knows a lot. In fact, he has been busy evaluating the substantial information given to him in the past year and has been posting his findings in one explosive article after another on the "Guardian" and his own publication "The Intercept."

Greenwald told SXSWi attendees, "In [the NSA's] mind, if you want to hide what you're saying from them, it must mean that what you're saying is a bad thing. They view the use of encryption... as evidence that you're suspicious and can actually target you if you use it."

The fact that he possesses extensive knowledge of the workings of the agency makes his proclamation even more bothersome, the report said.

Greenwald added that since only a small number of individuals actually encrypt their data, those who do actually stand out. This makes it easier for the agency to actually hack the tiny particles of protected data that come their way, the report said.

Greenwald also said that the NSA is not the only agency responsible for undertaking surveillance that invades privacy. He said, "The national security state in Washington has so completely perfected the art of co-opting and capturing whatever safeguards are created, that they're very adept at turning them into further tools for their own power rather than what they're intended to be."

Greenwald believes that the obligation to safeguard data rests in the individuals themselves. The most important reason for people to start using encryption is so that the government has to go through the legal process of obtaining warrants or subpoenas before they can get access to a person's data, the report said.

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