More Surveillance = More Terrorism

We had info on Ft. Hood, Abdulmutallab, but it got lost in the mix
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2010 12:24 PM CST
Northwest Airlines Flight 253 sits on the tarmac.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The expansion of government surveillance powers, often enabled by public unease following a terror attack or scare, actually makes those events more likely, Glenn Greenwald writes. The main problem is that intelligence agencies get clogged with useless information. In the cases of Ft. Hood and the Christmas attempt, our intelligence services had the information. But they “failed to understand what they had.”

“They had too much to process,” Greenwald writes on Salon, “including too much data wholly unrelated to terrorism.” The expansion of information collection, spurred by the “panic-driven need to vest the government with more and more surveillance power every time we get scared again by terrorists,” goes against best practices. “The steady abolition of oversights and limits,” Greenwald concludes, “have made detection of plots far less likely.”

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