Saturday, 14 November 2015

How to take the latest attack

I obviously feel sorry for all of the friends and families of the 128 killed in Paris last night, it is horrific.

How should the world react to those that want to incite terror? Should we be terrified?

Well, firstly, let me also say I also feel sorry for the 3,000 or so people killed in road fatalities yesterday as well, and today, and tomorrow, and every day (1,240,00 a year). Even with attacks like this, and 9/11, terrorism still remains a drop in the ocean in terms of any real threat to people's lives from so many directions (road fatalities being just one). Whilst we all die, it is horrific when someone dies unexpectedly in the prime of their life, and there are many ways we can tackle all of these threats. Terrorism is one tiny aspect of that ongoing battle - an aspect we still need to address, obviously.

In my opinion, to tackle these attacks, we need to try and get to the root cause and understand why we have a global society that creates such people. Why people want to create terror for their political aims. I can understand why politicians want to create terror for political aims, and they do that a lot, but we need to understand what we can do to make society better to minimise the perceived need for such attacks in the first place. What are we, as a people, doing wrong.

In my opinion, the way to go is not to create more of a police state. As I am sure people in France know more than most, a police state will create resistance - people who do not like the state, and that is the very seed of terrorism, surely.

Now is not the time to give up our human rights! That is letting the criminals win.

What we do not need is for this one incident to put a rocket up the latest snooper's charter, monitoring everything we all do, and making it "guilty until proven innocent". We need evidence based and proportional government, now, more than ever.

Last time there was an attack in France it came to light that the criminals were already under surveillance. What is the betting that the same is true with this case? I can't see that adding more surveillance of the 99.9999% of people who are not criminals will help.

12 comments:

  1. Lets say the government does get their way and every ISP in the country logs everyones internet traffic.

    Ok but hows that actually helpful?

    Because now you have logs on everything pretty much everyone in the country has done. It's also stored at the individual ISP's.

    There is far to much "Noise" to able to pull anything useful unless you know exactly what are looking for and in which ISP's logs, at which point you probably already have a pretty good idea who you're after anyway so the logs are of questionable use.

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  2. As RevK says, in all previous cases the attackers were already known to the authorities. In which case mass surveillance wouldn't have made any difference. What would have made a difference would have been more targetted resources being spent on specifically the people they already knew about. And oh look, there's over a billion pounds cost for the Snooper's Charter, I bet that would go a long way if spent following known suspecrts.

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    1. In this case, at least one attacker was already facing terrorism charges in France. Not only known to the authorities, not only known for extremism, but already facing charges for the very thing he then went and did again.

      This is not something that spying on everyone will solve. Elementary competence seems like a better start.

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  3. "French security services had warned an attack might be imminent", that pinko commie rag the Economist notes.

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    1. Yeah, but don't they do that every week?

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    2. Quite. In similar wise, the threat level has been sitting at ultraviolet "we are certainly doomed" since, well, 2001. It was bound to be right eventually. Maybe we should start a William the Conqueror Threat Meter to gauge the threat of a successful French invasion -- just set it to 'dead certain', one is bound to come along eventually and then we'll be vindicated!

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  4. I was taught to 'fear the man who has nothing to lose' or told a lie, a lie told by the chosen 'ones' who don't have the guts to do it themselves. They send their 'messengers' - the masters are so brave, they can't do it themselves....because they are cowards, they prefer to watch you die and afterwards profess their own amazing warrior prowess...while driving luxury cars and living like Kings...... all equal my ass = make your own internet, stop using ours, or accept our rules of use.

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    1. I do not understand your comment.

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  5. Effective intelligence on an enemy is of no use unless that enemy are unaware of your knowledge. The breaking of the enigma code in WW11 would have been pointless had the Germans discovered the fact. Likewise, today, any intelligence obtained by GCHQ is useless if the subjects are aware of what they know. It follows that useful intelligence can only be obtained by targeted surveillance and hacking, without the targets’ knowledge. This bill will actually make targeted snooping less productive because terrorists and the like will simply no longer communicate so freely online, knowing that logs may be available to the security services.

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  6. Looks like one of brain-dead lords is already making noises to rush the erosion of our privacy through within a month ,Which will not make any difference or make the country any safer, but a change in tact when it comes to flooding the uk with so called refugees might

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/paris-terror-attacks-calls-snoopers-6835963

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  7. ha ha ha the BBC is now describing pervasive CCTV coverage as one thing preventing an attack like that in Paris. Uh... CCTV deterrence doesn't work if your attackers *blow themselves up* after the attack, particularly given that CCTV is always looked at after the fact so is only useful for telling what happened, not stopping it as it happens.

    So you can identify the attackers from CCTV coverage: what are you going to do, punish the pieces? I note that the French had no trouble identifying the attackers despite their lower CCTV coverage -- it probably helped that at least one of them still had his passport on him (!).

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    1. except that it almost certainly wasn't his passport, see both http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualites/2015/11/17/01001-20151117LIVWWW00018-traque-attentats-de-paris-syrie-daech-enquete.php#102541 (the passport most likely belonged to a dead Syrian soldier) and http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/17/serbian-police-arrest-man-with-syrian-passport-matching-paris-attackers (the passport has also turned up in Serbia today, by with a diffrent picture)

      This suggests to me that the passport may be one of a larger batch of fakes, making tracking them interesting...

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