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Saturday, 21 November 2015

5 Myths Regarding the Paris Terror Attacks

George Washington's Blog

As usual, the politicos and talking heads are all talking their own book, using the Paris terror attacks to push their own agendas.

As shown below, they’re spouting nonsense.

Mass Surveillance Won’t Help


The NSA and other spy agencies are pretending that the Paris attacks show that we need more mass surveillance.

But the New York Times correctly points out in a scathing editorial that mass surveillance won’t help to prevent terrorism:
As one French counterterrorism expert and former defense official said, this shows that “our intelligence is actually pretty good, but our ability to act on it is limited by the sheer numbers.” In other words, the problem in this case was not a lack of data, but a failure to act on information authorities already had.

In fact, indiscriminate bulk data sweeps have not been useful. In the more than two years since the N.S.A.’s data collection programs became known to the public, the intelligence community has failed to show that the phone program has thwarted a terrorist attack. Yet for years intelligence officials and members of Congress repeatedly misled the public by claiming that it was effective.
In reality, top security experts agree that mass surveillance makes us MORE vulnerable to terrorists.

Indeed, even the NSA has previously admitted that it’s collecting too MUCH information to stop terror attacks.

Encryption Isn’t What Made Us Vulnerable


The spy agencies are also pretending that encryption made it impossible to stop the attacks.
But the Washington Post reports:

Several French outlets reported last night that a smartphone recovered near one of the massacre sites was not encrypted at all.


Hours after the attacks in Paris, Forbes quickly pointed to remarks by a Belgian official who said that Islamic State militants use the PlayStation 4's chat functions as a way to communicate securely. The article also mentioned that a Sony PlayStation 4 was recovered in a police raid connected to the Paris investigation.

That report was later undermined by the real facts — that no PlayStation 4 had been collected and that the Belgian official had been talking about the use of PlayStation technology generally by terrorism suspects.

But it was too late. Reports spread across the news industry tying the PlayStation to the attacks (there is a second wave of stories sweeping the Internet trying to undo the damage).


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