Snowden Advanced Encryption Technology '7 Years': Spy Chief | NECN

Snowden Advanced Encryption Technology '7 Years': Spy Chief

digital rights and security experts were puzzled over how intelligence officials arrived at the seven-year figure

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    AP
    Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, center speaks via video conference to people in the Johns Hopkins University auditorium, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, in Baltimore.

    Edward Snowden's revelations about the U.S. government's spying activities spurred advanced encryption technologies by "about seven years," National Intelligence Director James Clapper said Monday during a talk hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

    Commercially available software has become so sophisticated so rapidly, Clapper added, that it is a "major inhibitor" to the government's ability to collect intelligence on terrorists.

    "From our standpoint," Clapper said, "it's not a good thing."

    But in interviews with NBC News, digital rights and security experts were puzzled over how intelligence officials arrived at the seven-year figure.

    "He's speculating on what would have happened if what happened didn't happen," said Amie Stepanovich, U.S. policy director of Access Now. "I'm not sure what metric he's using."