• December 9, 2015
  • Your World With Neil Cavuto - FOX News

Terrorists “Going Dark” Using Encryption

Robert J. O'Neill on Hannity

“Americans Need to Decide What is Important. We Need to Save Lives and Stop Attacks.”

It’s no secret that terrorists — and terrorists in the making — are inciting and igniting through online communications. Social media has become a highly effective radicalization tool for ISIS by drawing recruits from all ends of the earth.

What we didn’t know until recently is how much of what they’re saying is under the radar — since terrorists are using a readily available encryption app called Telegram to “go dark.”

At a Senate Panel meeting this week, FBI Director James Comey made no effort to sugar coat it, admitting that because of nearly impossible to unlock encryption capabilities, terrorists have an “unparalleled ability to communicate.” Comey added, “Our ability to monitor them has not kept pace; in fact it’s gone in the wrong direction.”

It’s clear we have a big problem. Question is, can we fix it?

Appearing on FOX News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill speaks on this all-too-real virtual threat.

Cavuto: “What do you make of all the back and forth about what we can’t get right now because encryption makes it impossible to decipher?”

O’Neill: “This is one of those times you pretty much need to decide as American citizens what’s important. Yes, we want out privacy and our freedoms, but we also want the fine folks of the FBI and other government agencies to be able to find what they’re doing. We need help from these companies like Google and Apple…even those making PlayStations and all kinds of new software…to assist the government. When they find someone that’s communicating encrypted with someone in Syria, someone in Saudi Arabia, someone suspicious, they need to give them some sort of a way to the find encryption because it’s going to eventually save lives and stop attacks.”

Cavuto: “You’d think a judge at any time of the day would grant authorities if they have a suspicion of something sinister afoot to approve such tapping or monitoring or deciphering. Whatever you want to call it.”

O’Neill: “I think all they want is a court order. They’ll get those, but I think one of the problems is that there’s so much out there. A bit of profiling needs to be in there. They know who the bad guys are. The American public needs to realize this is not a movie. Nobody cares about what you’re saying to your mother in South Carolina over Thanksgiving. They’re looking for the real threats, and they just need to be given a little bit of latitude to do their job to save people and stop attacks. When it’s all said and done, that’s what important.”

Watch More of the Discussion: