Human beings have undertaken countless attempts to make a communication with extra terrestrial beings. So far, attempts such as – crop triangle and burning canals, arecibo message, concentrated light and telepathy, which is arguably the most publicized attempts at communicating with aliens – have all gone in vain. Perhaps, if aliens were already among us, we would not have quite wasted our efforts this much.
But what makes our attempts go wasted? The US government whistleblower Edward Snowden thinks it is due to encryption.
In an interview with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on his StarTalk podcast, Edward Snowden talked about the possibility that data encryption might be making signals from alien species indistinguishable from cosmic microwave background radiation which in turn making it difficult or even impossible to intercept communications from aliens.
“If you look at encrypted communication, if they are properly encrypted, there is no real way to tell that they are encrypted. You can’t distinguish a properly encrypted communication from random behaviour.” said Edward Snowden.
He said that as human and alien societies get more sophisticated, both societies would realize that encryption is necessary.
“So if you have an alien civilization trying to listen for other civilizations,or our civilization trying to listen for aliens, there’s only one small period in the development of their society when all their communication will be sent via the most primitive and most unprotected means.”
“When we think about everything we’re hearing from our satellites, or everything they’re hearing from our civilization, if there are indeed aliens out there, all of their communications are encrypted by default. So what we’re hearing — which is actually an alien television show or a phone call or a message between their planet and their own GPS constellation, whatever it happens to be — is indistinguishable to us from cosmic microwave background radiation.”
To the Snowden’s statement above, Tyson replied, “Only if they have the same security problems as us.”
Snowden conjectures that he might have an answer to the Fermi paradox. He also thinks that aliens might be politically a little bit more enlightened than we are.