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CIA Chief Blasts 'Hand-Wringing' Over Surveillance

Debate renews over whether government spying is a necessary evil
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2015 11:30 AM CST
CIA Chief Blasts 'Hand-Wringing' Over Surveillance
CIA Director John Brennan responds to a question as he speaks Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – Civil liberty advocates are worried that a spate of ISIS attacks will bring a renewed push for more-intense government surveillance, and comments by CIA chief John Brennan won't make them feel any better. Following the downing of Flight 9268, last week's suicide bombings in Beirut, and Friday's Paris massacre, Brennan slammed the "hand-wringing" over government spying, the New York Times reports. "I would anticipate that [Paris was] not the only operation ISIL has in the pipeline," he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, per Foreign Policy. And it's not only just those in the US who want to reinvigorate the NSA-style prying blasted by Edward Snowden: Per the Times, British PM David Cameron is pushing for more aggressive surveillance, while French President Francois Hollande is trying to expand surveillance powers there.

"I do hope that this is going to be a wake-up call, particularly in areas of Europe, where there has been a misrepresentation of what the intelligence and security services are doing, by some quarters that are designed to undercut those capabilities," said Brennan. The debate has renewed tensions in the Muslim community, where allegations of discrimination are once more bubbling up. "I think all Americans want to be kept safe from violence of any kind," the director of Muslim Advocates tells the Times. "But we know that blanket surveillance of people based on religion and race doesn't work." GOP Rep. Peter King doesn't think we have a choice when it comes to profiling. "We have to put political correctness aside" and snoop on Muslim communities because "that's where the threat is coming from." (John Oliver knows exactly whom to blame.)

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