The Discord Leaks: Justification To Quash Encrypted Messaging

THURSDAY, APR 20, 2023 – 11:00 PM

Authored by Marie Hawthorne via The Organic Prepper blog,

On April 13, the FBI took 21-year-old Air National Guardsman Jake Teixiera into custody for posting top secret military documents on a private Discord chat group. A large amount of classified information has been exposed, and people want answers. Why is this young man getting arrested when other people leak to the press all the time? Who gives a 21-year-old top-secret clearance? Are there some other, less-obvious motives at work here?

How will this affect encrypted messaging? And is that the point?

This may all be beside the point. Let’s talk about the method of release itself. These leaks have been referred to as the “Discord Leaks.” Discord is a messaging app. It doesn’t use end-to-end encryption, just the standard HTTPS encryption that allows people to communicate privately.

Federal law enforcement agencies have had private messaging apps in their crosshairs for some time now, as we discussed a few months ago. The EARN IT Act, which is still in the Senate, would essentially ban end-to-end encryption and make private messages easier for law enforcement to access.

There have been a couple of versions of EARN IT in the works since 2020; they haven’t passed. Too many Americans are still concerned about privacy.

However, is it possible that someone let these leaks percolate through Discord in hopes of giving the government an ironclad reason to force messaging apps to divulge information about private conversations? Because of national security?

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