Clapper said that onset of commercial encryption has accelerated by seven years.
Talking to a breakfast for journalists hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, this shortened timeline has had “a profound effect on the NSA’s ability to collect, particularly against terrorists.
The number was based on the projected growth maturation and installation of commercially available encryption. What had been forecasted for seven years ahead, three years ago, was accelerated to now, because of the revelation of the leaks.
He did not think this was a good thing because it meant better protection for American consumers from the arms race of hackers constantly trying to penetrate software worldwide.
Clapper acknowledged that there is no such thing as unbreakable encryption from his perspective. “In the history of mankind, since we’ve been doing signals intelligence, there’s really no such thing, given proper time, and proper application of technology.”
Unfortunately for him, Snowden’s revelations that the NSA was spying on everyone made ordinary people just as paranoid as terrorists.