Friday, May 22, 2015

FBI admits ubiquitous surveillance useless for catching terrorists.

As I have been saying:

FBI agents can't point to any major terrorism cases they've cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department's inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.

The FBI did finally come up with procedures to try to minimize the information it was gathering on nontargets, but it took far too long, Mr. Horowitz said in the 77-page report, which comes just as Congress is trying to decide whether to extend, rewrite or entirely nix Section 215.

Its useless to do signals surveillance on an entire country unless you already know who the bad guys are and you're just trying to find them. Without specific targets all you do is generate watch lists, then sit and watch them as they do absolutely nothing illegal. Until they decide to kill Pamella Geller. Then, after the attack takes place, the FBI looks into their watch list files and discovers "oh yeah, we've been watching those two assholes for years. So they finally did it. Huh."

This is because in a free country, talking revolutionary shit with your friends and hanging out with sketchy people is  LEGAL. Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly! Owning a gun is LEGAL. Freedom to keep and bear arms!

Watch lists are 100% useless for catching criminals because they aren't criminals until they DO something.

If you want to make surveillance effective, you have to make talking about stuff illegal. You have to go arrest and jail guys for just talking about terrorist actions when they haven't actually done anything at all.

Which I'm sure lots of FBI types would very much like to do.

Be afraid.

The Phantom

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