Is Encryption to Blame for the Paris Attacks?

By Kelley Chittenden

The Paris attacks re-sparked the encryption debate on whether government agencies should be able to have “back-door” access to encrypted communications. Apps such as iMessage and WhatsApp are encrypted by default, and lawmakers and government officials have urged the technology industry to incorporate means for government circumvention in the name of national security. Robert Litt, the General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has said push-back against creating government backdoors may change in the event of a terrorist attack in which encryption hinders law enforcement; however, there is currently no evidence that back-doors to encryption would have prevented the attacks.