Originally Posted by M.I.A.
The whole point is that his students were not really planning anything. They most likely just happen to sympathize with those protracted insurgencies in Syria and Iraq. His students probably watched otherwise boring youtube videos about Syria all the time, and were presumably suspected of having sympathies for "daesh". If his students had actually selected a target to strike, a place, and somehow a date, they would have accused them of that instead. They didn't. So, they obviously hadn't.
All of this, was about their interest for encryption, which is a set of number theories which you can apply by using particular programs such gnupg/pgp, openssl, openssh, libsodium/nacl, name it. I use these programs every day. You could not even rent a VPS in the cloud, without using at least ssh, because that is the access method that you will receive from the hosting company. Any government that thinks that there is anything special about encryption, is totally deluded: ignorance on steroids. Even a trivial one-time pad
is an unbreakable encryption method; and you can create that by yourself in a few lines of code.
One thing is true, though. If you know how to use encryption properly, you can prevent anybody else, including the police, from figuring out what you are saying to whom. But then again, I do not believe that government should have that kind of power. The very fact that these sections in mathematics have the potential to rein in government power tremendously, is exactly why so many people work on it, publish it open source, and promote the use of these tools. Seriously, we actually want everybody to use these tools, and snub all possible forms of government.
As you know, the use of force rests on willpower and technology. Willpower is not a strong point of government or its employees. So, we are indeed also making sure that governments can no longer count on having an edge in technology. Furthermore, let them struggle a bit more with Uber, before they get to battle with the next thing that we will unleash. Seriously, the real question is what technology they intend to use to defeat technology? It will certainly not be something that we will be making for them. ;-)