10 June 2013

Why Expanded Government Spying Doesn’t Mean Better Security Against Terrorism

The more quantity of intelligence, the better it is for preventing terrorism.

In the real, practical world this is—though it might seem counterintuitive—untrue. You don’t need–to put it in an exaggerated way–an atomic bomb against a flea. And isn’t it absurd that the United States can’t finish a simple border fence to keep out potential terrorists, can’t stop a would-be terrorist in the U.S. army who gives a power point presentation on why he is about to shoot people (Major Nadal Hassan), can’t follow up on Russian intelligence warnings about Chechen terrorist contacts (the Boston bombing), or a dozen similar incidents must now collect every telephone call in the country? A system in which a photo shop clerk has to stop an attack on Fort Dix by overcoming his fear of appearing “racist” to report a cell of terrorists or brave passengers must jump a would-be “underpants bomber” from Nigeria because his own father’s warning that he was a terrorist was insufficient?
This and more in the excellent article by Barry Rubin.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Picking the gnat shit out of the pepper will always be a bit of a chore, no matter how many algorithms you use to do the sorting.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

This is one aspect of the problem. Another one is that being very PC, the spying establishment wouldn't focus on people who could do with some focusing, preferring instead a non-discriminating check-them-all approach. Which results in nothing.