National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has asked governments not to be taken in by the Islamic State's (Isis) latest propaganda. The organization claims in a video that it has sent encrypted messages to its members to plot fresh attacks.
In a new propaganda video of the Paris attacks, Daesh threatens the UK with similar attacks. The video ends by showing encrypted messages being sent using PGP emails, which hint at the terror group planning new attacks. The taunting video was released by Al-Hayat, which is believed to be the propaganda wing of the Isis.
Snowden tweeted that the encryption is fake and should not be taken seriously. He said the Isis's "spooky fake crypto" is a misleading scare tactic, implying that the terror cell perhaps wants Western countries to overreact that could lead to banning encryption altogether.
Snowden posted a second tweet in which he said the encryption was "confirmed fake" and asked journalists to "push back" if any officials claimed it to be real. Snowden also pointed out that the date on the video message fails to conform to the encryption key, which itself is incorrect, the Wired reported.
The Isis's latest ploy using encrypted messages to plot attacks follows global retaliation targeted at encryption programs and the level of privacy and protection that they provide. Governments worldwide are looking to severely limit encryption. Both the UK and the US governments have been at loggerheads with tech giants like Apple, Google and Microsoft over coming out with products and services that are enabled with decryption technology, which would give access to government security firms to data when necessary.
Tech firms such as Apple have vehemently opposed the clamour, arguing that providing backdoors to government security agencies would make communication and data systems vulnerable to attacks from malicious parties. Google's approach to providing a solution involves confining the Isis to the dark web, which the tech firm says, would effectively limit its recruiting and propaganda activities. Facebook has also come up with a novel approach to deal with Isis propaganda on social media; it recently launched an EU-wide campaign to better identify and shut down Isis-related content from its website.
With various international governments and tech companies working independently as well as in collaboration with each other to fight the Isis, cyber-security laws have come into the spotlight. The current situation holds out the possibility of large-scale shifts in laws that could affect the general public, say analysts.