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Greenwald, Miranda, and Encryption Keys

It isn’t essential to my world view for Snowden et. al. to be supercompetent, supersecure, superleakers…or for them to be stupid, narcissistic, traitors.

But it seems to be important for some people…

So the British allegation that Miranda was carrying a written decrypt key on his person at Heathrow, and the British police have been able to decrypt 75 files has generated a considerable amount of hoo-hah.

My humble opinion:

Greenwald and Miranda could have been guilty of sloppy tradecraft.  Maybe.

But I think it’s equally possible that the British spooks are loading documents onto Miranda’s seized electronics themselves so they can recover them and announce the Snowden gang is a bunch of reckless and dangerous dingbats.

Only way that Greenwald could rebut the allegation would be to decrypt everything on the drive and say “You see! Those documents weren’t part of the dump (or already were in a different folder).  They’ve been added!”

Don’t see him doing this.

I had the same thought when the Independent published a document that it said was among the documents Snowden had taken.  I noticed they didn’t say “We obtained Snowden’s digital copy of the document.”  It was more like, “We got this document.  GCHQ says Snowden’s got it (too).”

That kind of activity helps divert the narrative from “Snowden reveals massive surveillance” to “Snowden endangers spooks and national security.”

I don’t think that’s an accident…and I think that it would be considered worth diddling with Miranda’s electronics to get this kind of result.

Just sayin…

Peter Lee edits China Matters. His ground-breaking story on North Korea’s nuclear program, Japan’s Resurgent Militarism, appears in the March issue of CounterPunch magazine. He can be reached at: chinamatters (at) prlee. org.

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Peter Lee edits China Matters and writes about Asia for CounterPunch.  

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