Is There Any Evidence In The World That Would Convince Intelligence Community That More Surveillance Isn't The Answer?
from the just-wondering dept
We’ve already discussed how the usual surveillance state defenders quickly rushed into action following the Paris attacks to demand more surveillance — and also noted that the two attacks in Paris in the past year happened despite that country expanding its own surveillance laws twice in the past year (once right before the Charlie Hebdo attack and once soon after). And all of that raises a simple question in my mind:
If the intelligence community and its supporters will call for greater surveillance and less encryption even after the surveillance capabilities have been shown not to work at all — is there any evidence at all that will convince them that maybe this is not the right idea? It’s a strange kind of argument that repeatedly points to its own failures… and follows it up with “well, that proves we need more of that!”
Such an argument, by itself, seems self-refuting, because there is no other side. If things are working okay, call for more surveillance. If the surveillance doesn’t work, just call for more surveillance. It’s the default answer to anything, and thus these calls should be ignored. The fact that the surveillance community wants more power is not news and it’s not surprising. It’s not because of the Paris attacks — they’re always asking for this and they’ve mostly gotten it. And it didn’t work.
A sober analysis would suggest that perhaps it’s time to try something different. But that’s not how these things tend to go apparently.