Conflation obscures issues. That's what's happening now with FBI Director Comey's arguments regarding ISIS, Going Dark, and device encryption. On Wednesday, Ben, quoting the director, discussed how the changes resulting from ISIS means we ought to reexamine the whole encryption issue. "Our job is to find needles in a nationwide haystack, needles that are increasingly invisible to us because of end-to-end encryption," Comey said. "This is the 'going dark' problem in high definition."
Nope. Comey is looking at the right issue but in the wrong way.
Stephen Watts and Sean Mann argue that the United States should continue to invest in Afghanistan's stability following the drawdown of U.S. and NATO forces in order to preserve the modest gains that have been made in Afghanistan and to reduce the chances that the Afghan government will collapse.
Yesterday Wikileaks published three summaries of NSA intercepts of German government communications. To me, the most interesting thing is not the intercept analyses themselves, but this spreadsheet of intelligence targets. Here we learn the specific telephone numbers being targeted, who owns that phone number, the office within the NSA that processes the raw communications received, why the target is being spied on (in this case, all are designated as "Germany: Political Affairs"), and when we started spying using this particular justification. It's one of the few glimpses we have into the bureaucracy of surveillance.
Presumably this is from the same leaker that gave Wikileaks the French intercepts they published a week earlier. (And you can read the intelligence target spreadsheet for France, too.) Now that we've seen a few Top Secret summaries of eavesdropping on both German and French communications, and given what I know of Julian Assange's tactics, my guess is that there is a lot more where this came from.
Spiegel is all over this story.