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August 05, 2004

The Keys to the Terrorist Kingdom?

Did our recent capture of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan suddenly allow us to read months, or possibly years, of previously unbreakable Al Qaeda encrypted messages?

Strategypage thinks maybe so. Public-key encryption has made it nearly impossible, or at least extremely difficult, to break coded messages typed on a personal computer using inexpensive, easily-obtained software. Long-key codes could take even the most powerful supercomputers years and even decades to break using brute-force methods.

But the one problem with any code is that you've got to keep the keys secret, or else your opponents can read your messages as easily as you can.

And maybe Mr. Khan had his keys -- maybe quite a few keys -- on his computer when he was captured. This could account for the recent blitz of terrorism arrests.

Even if the freshly-decrypted material is "dated intelligence" whose sudden decipherability is "suspiciously timed."

Update: Dave points out that, by so aggressively making unfounded charges of "suspicious timing," the liberals have forced the Bush Administration to reveal greater details about this intelligence than they initially thought prudent:

But, in having to defend the latest intel, the Administration has been forced-- for purely political reasons, by the Deaniacs and the media who love them-- to provide Al Qaeda with the knowledge of how we got this intel, and how we corroborated it not once, but *twice*. Gee, why don't we just invite these guys over to Ft. Meade while we're at it?

Thanks, guys!

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posted by Ace at 04:00 AM

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