Sunday, April 10, 2016

Related imageTerrorists have gone high tech. They can bring devastation to a region using the push of a button that teens use daily like smart phones and messaging apps.  The encryption debate over Apple and the FBI is now settled but what is not settled is Paris and San Bernardo recent attacks and how to get ahead of these thugs. From a legal standpoint the terrorists are able to communicate with total impunity. There are still phones that police can‘t get into because of encryption.  There are so many software encryption programs out there that they can’t penetrate into certain conversations. It has become a dark zone where there are so many dangerous things being planned that we are blocked from listening to. Years ago everything was given up to law enforcement for the better good of society. Now it seems privacy is more important to people than even safety.
The problem is not just phones. There is a texting app called Telegram that terrorists like to use. Like the new I Phone it offers new advanced encryption. Law enforcement can’t penetrate it and just can’t get into it. Pavel Durov   is the inventor of Telegram. He is a young man without a country. He is Russian born but now is rich and wanders around the world in exile. He created the Telegram app so he could communicate in complete secrecy. It has become popular and is now being used by over 100 million people worldwide. He says he is trying to prevent terrorists from using the app but how do you do that? The app is perfect for ISIS to send private messages to each other to covertly plan and coordinate attacks anywhere in the world.
In Telegram they have a secret chat feature which provides a self- distruct time. It reminds me of the old Charlie’s Angels show where the tape recorder would go up in smoke after they were told their mission. Ok, so I am old now.  In this app you can set a specific time seconds, minutes or a week in which the message would appear to the sender and then disappear. Terrorists love for their evidence to “disappear.” Long before the invention of Telegram, Pavel was known as the Mark Zuckerberg of Russia since he created a popular equivalent of Facebook in Russia.  In 2011 when anti-Putin protestors filled Moscow’s streets, the Kremlin demanded he take down the organizers sites. He refused and has been on the run ever since. There was continual pressure put on him to hand over users personal data. The government in 2014 was even successful in having him thrown out of his own company.
That was his motivation to create Telegram and encrypt it so as no government could ever access their personal data.   It seems that every great invention could be used for good or bad. He left Russia with a reported $300 million dollars which he single handedly uses to fund Telegram. He says it costs him over a million dollars per month. He created it to allow democracy to flourish but is now allowing terrorism to flourish. God help us all in this tech mess.

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