Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants to give police and US spy agencies the technology to break any kind of encryption. At Saturday’s Democratic debate, moderator Martha Raddatz asked Clinton about Apple CEO Tim Cooks recent remarks saying “We should have both privacy and security.” Clinton replied:
“I would hope that, given the extraordinary capacities that the tech community has and the legitimate needs and questions from law enforcement, that there could be a Manhattan-like project, something that would bring the government and the tech communities together to see they’re not adversaries, they’ve got to be partners,” Clinton continued. “It doesn’t do anybody any good if terrorists can move toward encrypted communication that no law enforcement agency can break into before or after. There must be some way. I don’t know enough about the technology, Martha, to be able to say what it is, but I have a lot of confidence in our tech experts.”
It does appear that Hillary doesn’t “know enough about the technology.” She also apparently is not aware that this would be disastrous for US military and diplomatic activities. As the former Secretary of State, she undoubtedly relied on encrypted communications to pass secret messages back and forth to State Department employees around the world. She must know the value of encryption.
If the US government does develop the capability to decode all encrypted communications, it won’t be long before other governments and probably even private individuals will steal the same technology. After all, this happened not long after the Manhattan Project became successful. Russia stole the secrets and developed its own atomic and hydrogen bombs within a very few years. Soon after, China and other governments did the same.
If the US government’s “Manhattan-like Project” succeeds, US military and diplomatic communications will soon after become visible to everyone.