One of the standard talking points right after the Ed Snowden revelations first started coming out was that the leaks were causing terrorists to change how they communicated, meaning that US intelligence was somehow “losing track” of important information on the whereabouts and plans of terrorists.

The most obvious example of this was from CNN “reporter” Barbara Starr (who has a long track record of repeating Defense Department talking points) who directly claimed: “terrorists are trying to change the way they communicate because of what they learned from Edward Snowden’s admitted leaks of classified information about government surveillance programs.”

We questioned this claim on a number of points — in part because there was plenty of evidence that most terrorists already suspected such surveillance and acted accordingly. Meanwhile, in private, James Clapper (who publicly was claiming massive damage from terrorists changing how they communicate) admitted that he really wasn’t that worried.

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