Terrorists changing communication methods after NSA snooping leaks
Washington: The Al-Qaeda and other terrorist are reportedly changing their communication methods in light of the revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden about US led NSA `surveillance programme`.
Adam Raisman of the SITE Intelligence Group, a private analysis firm said that after the revelations by Snowden, terrorists and jihadists are recommending fellow jihadists to be very cautious and not give their real phone number and other such information when registering for a website, New York Post reports.
US officials said that virtually every terrorist organization including Al-Qaeda is changing the way they communicate to hide from the US surveillance after the revelations about the leaks were reported in the media.
Shortly after Snowden revealed the US surveillance methods, chat rooms and websites used by like minded extremists and to be recruits were recommending each other methods like not using their real phone numbers and using specific online software programs in order to avoid NSA detection.
Senator Angus King said that Snowden has revealed to the enemies of the country about the methods US uses to monitor their activities and foil plots and has compromised those efforts adding that it is conceivable that people will die as a result.
Former intelligence officer and deputy general counsel of the FBI, M.E. `Spike` Bowman said that it is frustrating that their surveillance methods were leaked by Snowden as they will have to start again to track their targets.
According to the report, US intelligence considers encryption communication as suspicious and nonetheless monitors it and hence even if terror groups switch to encrypted communication , it may slow the NSA but will still be monitored.
The terrorists are advising to use privacy-protecting email systems like TOR, also called The Onion Router, to hide their computer`s IP address, and to use encrypted links to access jihadi forums.
YouTube and Skype which are in the periphery of being `snooped` on by the US government may also be slowly replaced by the extremists to other tools which were not mentioned in the leaks by Snowden.
Private analysis firm IntelCenter`s Ben Venzke said that the leaks by Snowden serve as a wake-up call to extremists and other hostile actors to analyse how they are working and improve their security.
The report added that the disclosure of intelligence agencies monitoring Osama Bin Laden`s cellphones made him ditch use of all electronic communication and it took more than a decade for US to finally trace him in Abbottabad through the couriers he switched to.
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