Err Neg on the link – your default assumption should be that changing intel gathering could have big security risks.
(et al; This is the Final Report and Recommendations of The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. President Obama ordered a blue-ribbon task force to review domestic surveillance. This report releases the findings of that group. The report was headed by five experts – including Richard Alan Clarke, who is the former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism for the United States. Other expert contributors include Michael Joseph Morell, who was the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and served as acting director twice in 2011 and from 2012 to 2013 and Cass Robert Sunstein, who was the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration and is currently a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “LIBERTY AND SECURITY IN A CHANGING WORLD” – December 12th, 2013 – Easily obtained via a google search. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=https%3A%2F2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fdocs%2F2013-12 12_rg_final_report.pdf&ei=Db0yVdDjKIKdNtTXgZgE&usg=AFQjCNH0S_Fo9dckL9bRarVpi4M6pq6MQ&bvm=bv.91071109,d.eXY)
Most of these challenges have a significant intelligence component. Policymakers cannot understand the issues, cannot make policy with regard to those issues, and cannot successfully implement that policy without reliable intelligence. Any expert with access to open sources can provide insight on questions such as the Eurozone crisis and Japanese politics, but insights on the plans, intentions, and capabilities of al-Qa’ida, on the status of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, and on the development of cyber warfare tools by other nations are simply not possible without reliable intelligence. A wide range of intelligence collectors, including NSA, have made important contributions to protecting the nation’s security. Notwithstanding recent controversies, and the importance of significant reforms, the national security of the United States depends on the continued capacity of NSA and other agencies to collect essential information. In considering proposals for reform, now and for the future, policymakers should avoid the risk of overreaction and take care in making changes that could undermine the capabilities of the Intelligence Community.
Snowden’s revealed programs deter terror
Johnson, 13 (Kevin Johnson, contributor to USA Today, June 19, 2013, “NSA director: Surveillance foiled 50 terror plots”, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/18/nsa-surveillance-secret-programs-terror-plots/2434193/) CW
WASHINGTON — National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander told a House committee Tuesday that more than 50 terror threats throughout the world have been disrupted with the assistance of two secret surveillance programs that were recently disclosed by former defense contractor Edward Snowden. More than 10 of the plots targeted the U.S. homeland, Alexander told the House Intelligence Committee, including a plot to attack the New York Stock Exchange. "I would much rather be here today debating this,'' Alexander told lawmakers, referring to the programs' value, "than explaining why we were unable to prevent another 9/11'' attack. At the rare open committee hearing, Alexander and Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole told lawmakers that both surveillance operations — a domestic telephone tracking system that collects records of millions of Americans and an Internet monitoring program targeting non-citizens outside the U.S. — have been subject to rigorous oversight to guard against privacy abuses. "This isn't some rogue operation that some guys at the NSA are operating,'' said Alexander, also an Army general. Deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce described another threat Tuesday that was neutralized by the surveillance programs: Investigators used the phone tracking system to identify an operative in San Diego who was providing support to terrorists in Somalia. Joyce also referred to two disrupted plots that were disclosed last week as having been thwarted by the surveillance operations, including a 2009 plan to bomb the New York subway system. In that case, authorities used its Internet monitoring program to identify overseas communications involving Najibullah Zazi in Colorado, who was later convicted in connection with the subway attack plan. "This is not a program that is off the books,'' Cole said, outlining the executive, legislative and judicial controls attached to both surveillance operations.
Surveillance empirically prevents potential terrorist events—reported cases prove
Sullivan 13 (Sean, covered national politics for The Washington Post, political science and philosophy graduate of Hamilton College, “NSA head: Surveillance helped thwart more than 50 terror plots,” 06/18/13, www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/18/nsa-head-surveillance-helped-thwart-more-than-50-terror-attempts /lg)
Intelligence officials said Tuesday that the government's sweeping surveillance efforts have helped thwart "potential terrorist events" more than 50 times since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and the officials detailed two new examples to illustrate the utility of the programs. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, officials cited a nascent plot to blow up the New York Stock Exchange and a case involving an individual providing financial support to an overseas terrorist group. "In recent years, these programs, together with other intelligence, have protected the U.S. and our allies from terrorist threats across the globe to include helping prevent the terrorist -- the potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11," National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander told the committee. He said at least 10 of the plots targeted the United States. FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce said Tuesday that a provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act helped officials monitor a "known extremist in Yemen" who was in contact with an individual in the United States. The information led to disruption of the New York Stock Exchange plot, Joyce said. Joyce also said that the use of a FISA business record provision helped officials with an investigation involving an individual who was communicating with an overseas terrorist. "The NSA, using the business record FISA, tipped us off that this individual had indirect contacts with a known terrorist overseas," said Joyce. "We were able to reopen this investigation, identify additional individuals through a legal process and were able to disrupt this terrorist activity." "So that's four cases total that we have put out publicly," Alexander said Tuesday. The Washington Post and Britain's Guardian newspaper recently revealed the sweeping Internet and telephone surveillance techniques the NSA has utilized in recent years. Several of the witnesses testifying Tuesday said the disclosure of the surveillance programs by admitted leaker Edward Snowden had made the world a more dangerous place. “We are now faced with a situation that because this information has been made public, we run the risk of losing these collection capabilities,” said Robert S. Litt, general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. “We’re not going to know for many months whether these leaks in fact have caused us to lose these capabilities, but if they do have that effect, there is no doubt that they will cause our national security to be affected.” Alexander had previously said the intelligence gathering helped in the cases of Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan American who pleaded guilty to planning suicide attacks in New York, and Pakistani American David Headley, who conducted surveillance in support of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India. Joyce elaborated on the two previously revealed cases on Tuesday. Alexander said he would provide details of the 50 examples he cited Tuesday to lawmakers in a classified setting on Wednesday. "Those 50 cases right now have been looked at by the FBI, CIA and other partners within the community, and the National Counterterrorism Center is validating all the points so that you know that what we've put in there is exactly right," said Alexander. Alexander also said that if the surveillance programs had been in place before the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States would have known that hijacker Khalid Muhammad Abdallah al-Mihdhar was in San Diego and communicating with a known al Qaeda safehouse in Yemen. Alexander's testimony came a day after President Obama defended his administration’s right to engage in such surveillance in an interview with PBS host Charlie Rose, saying the programs had adequate checks and balances. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Obama argued, provided sufficient oversight of the National Security Agency’s activities and said the government was “making the right trade-offs” in balancing privacy rights with national security prerogatives. “What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your e-mails,” he added, before Rose interjected, “And have not.” “And have not,” Obama reiterated. “They cannot and have not, by law and by rule, and unless they — and usually it wouldn’t be ‘they,’ it’d be the FBI — go to a court, and obtain a warrant, and seek probable cause, the same way it’s always been, the same way when we were growing up and we were watching movies, you want to go set up a wiretap, you got to go to a judge, show probable cause.” During the interview — which aired Monday night — the president took pains to distinguish his national security approach from those of former president George W. Bush and former vice president Richard B. Cheney. “The whole point of my concern, before I was president — because some people say, ‘Well, you know, Obama was this raving liberal before. Now he’s, you know, Dick Cheney.’ Dick Cheney sometimes says, ‘Yeah, you know? He took it all lock, stock and barrel,’ ” Obama said, according to a transcript provided by PBS. “My concern has always been not that we shouldn’t do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism, but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances?”
Privacy concerns causing difficulties in FBI ISIS search
Schleifer 6/18 (Theodore Schleifer – politics reporter “FBI director: We can't yet restrain ISIS on social media” CNN http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/18/politics/fbi-social-media-attacks/index.html) // CW
Washington (CNN) - FBI Director James Comey said Thursday his agency does not yet have the capabilities to limit ISIS attempts to recruit Americans through social media. It is becoming increasingly apparent that Americans are gravitating toward the militant organization by engaging with ISIS online, Comey said, but he told reporters that "we don't have the capability we need" to keep the "troubled minds" at home. "Our job is to find needles in a nationwide haystack, needles that are increasingly invisible to us because of end-to-end encryption," Comey said. "This is the 'going dark' problem in high definition." Comey said ISIS is increasingly communicating with Americans via mobile apps that are difficult for the FBI to decrypt. He also explained that he had to balance the desire to intercept the communication with broader privacy concerns. "It is a really, really hard problem, but the collision that's going on between important privacy concerns and public safety is significant enough that we have to figure out a way to solve it," Comey said. The FBI director has previously said these apps are constantly reminding potential supporters to carry out attacks. One of the gunmen who carried out an attack at a "Draw Mohammed" cartoon contest in Texas last month is believed to have used Twitter to communicate with ISIS. "It's almost as if there is a devil sitting on the shoulder saying 'Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill!' all day long," Comey said then.
Domestic surveillance key to counter ISIS – encryption makes it necessary
Fitzgerald 6/4 (Sandy Fitzgerald – political writer, NewsMax, “FBI: 'We're Past Going Dark' Tracking ISIS on Social Media” http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/fbi-isis-social-media-encryption/2015/06/04/id/648650/) // CW
There are too many ways for the Islamic State (ISIS) to use encryption on various social media sites to spread its message, U.S. officials told a House Homeland Security Committee hearing Wednesday, warning there is no way to monitor all of the militant group's online communication. "There are 200-plus social media companies," Michael Steinbach, who heads the FBI's counterterrorism division, told committee members, reports Fox News. "Some of these companies build their business model around end-to-end encryption. There is no ability currently for us to see that." The encryption methods allow ISIS propagandists to send messages to as many as 200,000 people worldwide, it was pointed out during the hearing, and Steinbach warned members that "we're past going dark in certain instances. We are dark." Part of the issue is that technology is developing faster than are laws that allow communications to be intercepted. "The targets that are out there, we are monitoring them very closely for any type of action, any type of oversteps, any mobilization factors — and when we see those we're not taking a chance," he said, referring to the case in Boston this week in which police shot and killed a man who was allegedly plotting with a partner to kill police officers and outspoken anti-jihadist activist Pamela Geller. In another recent case, suspects Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were shot and killed by a security guard in Garland, Texas, where they had plotted an attack on an event Geller was sponsoring. Special: Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said that even a warrant or a wiretap often is not enough to stop conspirators, as technology has gotten past that. "Even if we have coverage by, let's say, a warrant or a wiretap, they can then jump into a message box and then to another platform that's called dark space that we can't cover and we don't know what those communications are," said McCaul. John Mulligan, the deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, further said that ISIS leaders believe "they are able to organize people solely through social media," as "they believe they can enter into the dialogue and provide the tools, and they are not getting into very complex tools." Earlier in the day, McCaul told Fox News that ISIS recruiters "know how to jump out of different platforms," and that he expected to hear from the FBI and other officials that "probably the biggest concern is what we can't monitor and what we don't know and what is occurring in the United States right now."
Plan curtails needed surveillance that has been stopping terrorism
Bergen et al 14 (Peter Bergen, David Sterman, Emily Schneider, and Bailey Cahall, contributors to New America Foundation, January 13, 2014, “Do NSA's Bulk Surveillance Programs Stop Terrorists?”, http://www.newamerica.net/publications/policy/do_nsas_bulk_surveillance_programs_stop_terrorists) CW
On June 5, 2013, the Guardian broke the first story in what would become a flood of revelations regarding the extent and nature of the NSA’s surveillance programs. Facing an uproar over the threat such programs posed to privacy, the Obama administration scrambled to defend them as legal and essential to U.S. national security and counterterrorism. Two weeks after the first leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were published, President Obama defended the NSA surveillance programs during a visit to Berlin, saying: “We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information not just in the United States, but, in some cases, threats here in Germany. So lives have been saved.” Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, testified before Congress that: “the information gathered from these programs provided the U.S. government with critical leads to help prevent over 50 potential terrorist events in more than 20 countries around the world.” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said on the House floor in July that “54 times [the NSA programs] stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks both here and in Europe – saving real lives.”
Government intelligence programs key to combat terrorists
Sulmasy 13 (Glenn Sulmasy, Chief Academic Officer at Bryant University, Fellow for Homeland Security and National Security Law at Center for National Policy, Law Professor at U.S. Coast Guard Academy, “Why we need government surveillance,” http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/opinion/sulmasy-nsa-snowden/) aj
Edward Snowden's leaks of classified intelligence already have him being compared to Daniel Ellsworth of the Pentagon Papers and Bradley Manning of the WikiLeaks fame. Snowden felt compelled to leak valuable documents about the NSA's surveillance programs. The 29-year-old was willing to give up his $200,000 job, girlfriend, home in Hawaii and his family. He boldly pronounced, "I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building." The uproar over the recent revelations about government surveillance programs has raised eyebrows and concerns across the political spectrum. Many on the left have been surprised that most of the same policies (now even the surveillance of U.S. citizens and phone companies) that President George W. Bush initiated, are being used, and expanded upon, by the Obama administration. Many on the right say it is government overreach and that Congress should have been briefed on the broad programs. Although the cause for alarm in political or policy circles might have merit, the exercise of these authorities by the executive branch does, in fact, appear to be legal. Once again, the war on al Qaeda is pitting national security against America's longstanding commitment to the promotion of civil liberties and human rights. The current threat by al Qaeda and jihadists is one that requires aggressive intelligence collection and efforts. One has to look no further than the disruption of the New York City subway bombers (the one being touted by DNI Clapper) or the Boston Marathon bombers to know that the war on al Qaeda is coming home to us, to our citizens, to our students, to our streets and our subways. This 21st century war is different and requires new ways and methods of gathering information. As technology has increased, so has our ability to gather valuable, often actionable, intelligence. However, the move toward "home-grown" terror will necessarily require, by accident or purposefully, collections of U.S. citizens' conversations with potential overseas persons of interest. An open society, such as the United States, ironically needs to use this technology to protect itself. This truth is naturally uncomfortable for a country with a Constitution that prevents the federal government from conducting "unreasonable searches and seizures." American historical resistance towards such activities is a bedrock of our laws, policies and police procedures. But what might have been reasonable 10 years ago is not the same any longer. The constant armed struggle against the jihadists has adjusted our beliefs on what we think our government can, and must, do in order to protect its citizens. However, when we hear of programs such PRISM, or the Department of Justice getting phone records of scores of citizens without any signs of suspicious activities nor indications of probable cause that they might be involved in terrorist related activities, the American demand for privacy naturally emerges to challenge such "trolling" measures or data-mining. The executive branch, although particularly powerful in this arena, must ensure the Congress is kept abreast of activities such as these surveillance programs. The need for enhanced intelligence activities is a necessary part of the war on al Qaeda, but abuse can occur without ensuring the legislative branch has awareness of aggressive tactics such as these. Our Founding Fathers, aware of the need to have an energetic, vibrant executive branch in foreign affairs, still anticipated checks upon the presidency by the legislature. Working together, the two branches can ensure that both legally, and by policy, this is what the citizens desire of their government -- and that leaks such as Snowden's won't have the impact and damage that his leaks are likely to cause. As for Snowden, regardless of how any of us feel about the national security surveillance programs at issue, he must be extradited back to the U.S. for interviews and potential trial -- if for no other reason than to deter others from feeling emboldened to break the law in the same way in the future.
Bulk, aggregated surveillance key to detect activity and pursue leads
Yoo 15 (John Yoo, Professor of Law at UC Berkeley, served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice, visiting scholar at AEI, published on AEI, a nonpartisan public policy institute, “Will Congress reject the dangerous NSA ruling by reauthorizing the Patriot Act?,” https://www.aei.org/publication/will-congress-reject-todays-dangerous-nsa-ruling-by-reauthorizing-the-patriot-act/) aj
Finally, the Court displays a deep misunderstanding of the challenges of counterterrorism policy, which Congress understands far better. As Judge Richard Posner has recognized, an intelligence search “is a search for the needle in a haystack.” Rather than pursue suspects who have already committed a crime and whose identity is already known, intelligence agencies must search for clues among millions of potentially innocent connections, communications, and links. “The intelligence services,” Posner writes, “must cast a wide net with a fine mesh to catch the clues that may enable the next attack to be prevented.” Our government can detect terrorists by examining phone and e-mail communications, as well as evidence of joint travel, shared assets, common histories or families, meetings, and so on. If our intelligence agents locate a lead, they must quickly follow its many possible links to identify cells and the broader network of terrorists. A database of call data would allow a fast search for possible links in the most important place — the United States, where terrorists can inflict the most damage. Most of the calling records may well be innocent (just as most of the financial records of a suspected white-collar criminal may also be innocent), but the more complete the database, the better our intelligence agencies can pursue a lead into the U.S.
Intelligence is key to preventing an increasing number of terror attacks. Their authors say intel isn’t effective, it is only because the data isn’t organized
Inserra June 8, 2015 (David Inserra, David Inserra is a Research Associate for Homeland Security and Cyber Security in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation, “69th Islamist Terrorist Plot: Ongoing Spike in Terrorism Should Force Congress to Finally Confront the Terrorist Threat”, The Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/06/69th-islamist-terrorist-plot-ongoing-spike-in-terrorism-should-force-congress-to-finally-confront-the-terrorist-threat , Accessed: 6/24/2015, RJS)
On June 2 in Boston, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim drew a knife and attacked police officers and FBI agents, who then shot and killed him. Rahim was being watched by Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force as he had been plotting to behead police officers as part of violent jihad. A conspirator, David Wright or Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, was arrested shortly thereafter for helping Rahim to plan this attack. This plot marks the 69th publicly known Islamist terrorist plot or attack against the U.S. homeland since 9/11, and is part of a recent spike in terrorist activity. The U.S. must redouble its efforts to stop terrorists before they strike, through the use of properly applied intelligence tools. The Plot According to the criminal complaint filed against Wright, Rahim had originally planned to behead an individual outside the state of Massachusetts, which, according to news reports citing anonymous government officials, was Pamela Geller, the organizer of the “draw Mohammed” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas. To this end, Rahim had purchased multiple knives, each over 1 foot long, from Amazon.com. The FBI was listening in on the calls between Rahim and Wright and recorded multiple conversations regarding how these weapons would be used to behead someone. Rahim then changed his plan early on the morning of June 2. He planned to go “on vacation right here in Massachusetts…. I’m just going to, ah, go after them, those boys in blue. Cause, ah, it’s the easiest target.” Rahim and Wright had used the phrase “going on vacation” repeatedly in their conversations as a euphemism for violent jihad. During this conversation, Rahim told Wright that he planned to attack a police officer on June 2 or June 3. Wright then offered advice on preparing a will and destroying any incriminating evidence. Based on this threat, Boston police officers and FBI agents approached Rahim to question him, which prompted him to pull out one of his knives. After being told to drop his weapon, Rahim responded with “you drop yours” and moved toward the officers, who then shot and killed him. While Rahim’s brother, Ibrahim, initially claimed that Rahim was shot in the back, video surveillance was shown to community leaders and civil rights groups, who have confirmed that Rahim was not shot in the back.[4 ] Terrorism Not Going Away This 69th Islamist plot is also the seventh in this calendar year. Details on how exactly Rahim was radicalized are still forthcoming, but according to anonymous officials, online propaganda from ISIS and other radical Islamist groups are the source. That would make this attack the 58th homegrown terrorist plot and continue the recent trend of ISIS playing an important role in radicalizing individuals in the United States. It is also the sixth plot or attack targeting law enforcement in the U.S., with a recent uptick in plots aimed at police. While the debate over the PATRIOT Act and the USA FREEDOM Act is taking a break, the terrorists are not. The result of the debate has been the reduction of U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism capabilities, meaning that the U.S. has to do even more with less when it comes to connecting the dots on terrorist plots. Other legitimate intelligence tools and capabilities must be leaned on now even more. Protecting the Homeland To keep the U.S. safe, Congress must take a hard look at the U.S. counterterrorism enterprise and determine other measures that are needed to improve it. Congress should: Emphasize community outreach. Federal grant funds should be used to create robust community-outreach capabilities in higher-risk urban areas. These funds must not be used for political pork, or so broadly that they no longer target those communities at greatest risk. Such capabilities are key to building trust within these communities, and if the United States is to thwart lone-wolf terrorist attacks, it must place effective community outreach operations at the tip of the spear. Prioritize local cyber capabilities. Building cyber-investigation capabilities in the higher-risk urban areas must become a primary focus of Department of Homeland Security grants. With so much terrorism-related activity occurring on the Internet, local law enforcement must have the constitutional ability to monitor and track violent extremist activity on the Web when reasonable suspicion exists to do so. Push the FBI toward being more effectively driven by intelligence. While the FBI has made high-level changes to its mission and organizational structure, the bureau is still working on integrating intelligence and law enforcement activities. Full integration will require overcoming inter-agency cultural barriers and providing FBI intelligence personnel with resources, opportunities, and the stature they need to become a more effective and integral part of the FBI. Maintain essential counterterrorism tools.Support for important investigative tools is essential to maintaining the security of the U.S. and combating terrorist threats. Legitimate government surveillance programs are also a vital component of U.S. national security and should be allowed to continue. The need for effective counterterrorism operations does not relieve the government of its obligation to follow the law and respect individual privacy and liberty. In the American system, the government must do both equally well. Clear-Eyed Vigilance The recent spike in terrorist plots and attacks should finally awaken policymakers—all Americans, for that matter—to the seriousness of the terrorist threat. Neither fearmongering nor willful blindness serves the United States. Congress must recognize and acknowledge the nature and the scope of the Islamist terrorist threat, and take the appropriate action to confront it.
Online surveillance key to preventing lone wolf attacks like Charlie Hebdo or attacks in Israel.
Ackerman 3/11/15 (Gwen Ackerman, reporter for Bloomberg, “Global Cyber Surveillance May Help Prevent Lone Wolf Attacks”, Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-11/cyber-tech-can-prevent-lone-wolf-attacks-israeli-experts-say , Accessed: 6/26/2015, RJS)
Bloomberg) -- “Lone wolf” assailants rely on online platforms and networks that can provide important warnings to law enforcement officials if monitored properly, Israeli cyber academics and a former government official say. The English-language jihadist online magazine Inspire is an important tool for recruiting, informing and motivating attackers who act on their own, said Gabriel Weimann, a professor of communications at Haifa University. “Lone wolves are not alone,” Weimann said. “You can always find them hiding in a virtual pack, not in a social gathering, a mosque, or terrorist camp, but online.” The same goes for “wolf pack” terrorists, he said, referring to small groups of people, often connected by family ties, such as the two brothers suspected of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January. “Communicating online unites them all,” Weimann added. “Better monitoring of the Net, and chatter, and all the people who access specific sites is a good way to identify them.” Sophisticated programs that look for quotes from jihad vocabulary and slogans are ways to find the “wolves” before they act, he said. Deadly attacks over the past year by Muslims in Paris, Belgium and Copenhagen, together with the expanding influence of the Islamic State group, have raised alarms about the danger of lone wolves or “wolf packs.” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder voiced concern on CNN last month about possible lone wolf terrorist attacks in the U.S. and urged shopping malls to increase security. Rabbis Killed Since late last year, Israel has experienced a series of attacks by Palestinians who police said acted without directives from any group. In the most recent attack on March 6, an assailant plowed his car into four policewomen, injuring them moderately. In the deadliest lone wolf attack, two men stabbed to death four rabbis at a Jerusalem synagogue in November, then killed a Druze Arab policeman in a gun battle. Technology used to foil financial fraud, which gathers and analyzes big data within fractions of a second, can be adapted to identify potential lone attackers, said Gabi Siboni of the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies. “The major intelligence challenge is creating a methodology that would be suited to identifying spontaneous attackers ahead of time,” Siboni said. Setting Traps The New York Police Department is already monitoring social media and the Internet to try to identify potential lone-wolf terrorists as more and more young people become attracted to extremist movements online. Britain’s MI5 has also set up a “lone wolf” anti-terrorism unit, according to the Telegraph newspaper. In addition to tracking lone wolves online, some counter-terrorism efforts also involve setting traps, Weimann said, without elaborating. Surveillance, virtual or not, always raises privacy issues, but Siboni said this concern could be eased by having software, not humans, sifting through reams of data, drilling down to an individual level only when an alarm is raised. Cyber-Savvy Terrorists Siboni’s INSS is holding a conference in Washington on defensive cyberspace operations and intelligence in April to allow networking among officials in industry, government and military. While Internet surveillance techniques may be able to pinpoint some lone wolf attacks, it would be much more difficult stop a cyber-savvy terrorist, said Rami Efrati, former head of the civilian division of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau. “The only chance to catch a lone wolf planning an attack in cyberspace is through global information-sharing,” Efrati said. “This is critical.” Sources of information wouldn’t necessarily need to be exposed, just suspicions, making sharing easier for governments wary of disclosing intelligence, said Efrati, now head of Firmitas Cyber Solutions, whose technology defends critical infrastructure. Governments wary of sharing intelligence that may help stop lone-wolf attacks may be more motivated to do so to prevent future attacks by Europeans who fought for Islamic State and are starting to return home. “One thing is for sure, there is more than one method or system for cyber surveillance, and things are being developed and improved all the time,” Weimann said.
Surveillance allows for international cooperation to combat terror.
Rotella 13 (Sebastian Rotella, senior reporter at ProPublica. An award-winning foreign correspondent and investigative reporter, Sebastian worked for almost 23 years for the Los Angeles Times, covering everything from terrorism to arts to the Mexican border. He served most recently as a national security correspondent in Washington, D.C., and his previous posts include international investigative correspondent and bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires, with assignments in the Middle East and North Africa. “How the NSA’s High-Tech Surveillance Helped Europeans Catch Terrorists”, http://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-nsas-high-tech-surveillance-helped-europeans-catch-terrorists , June 29, 2013, Accessed: 6/28/2015)
PARIS — In 2007, Belgian police were keeping close watch on Malika el-Aroud, a fierce al-Qaida ideologue whose dark eyes smoldered above her veil. The Moroccan-born Aroud had met Osama bin Laden while living in al-Qaida’s stronghold in Afghanistan. She gained exalted status when her husband posed as a journalist to blow up the renowned Ahmed Shah Massoud, the chief of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, just two days before the Sept. 11 attacks. Aroud later returned to Europe, remarried and started an Islamist website that attracted a group of French and Belgian extremists. Led by her second husband, Moez Garsallaoui, half-a-dozen of them went to Waziristan, where they joined several thousand al-Qaida fighters, including a Latino convert from Long Island, learned to make bombs and plotted against the West with terrorist kingpins. The authorities — American, Belgian, French, Swiss, Italian, Turkish — were all over them. U.S. surveillance had tracked their radicalization, their emails from Pakistan, even calls made to their mothers before they trudged through snowy Iranian mountains. An intercepted photo that Garsallaoui sent his wife showed him holding a grenade launcher. He claimed to have killed U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and described his escape from a missile strike: “I came close to dying.” The militants took precautions, changing laptops and using Internet cafes. But they were no match for top-secret, real-time NSA intercepts. Some of the monitoring was approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. “We were inside their computers,” a source said. As debate rages in the United States about the National Security Agency’s sweeping data-mining programs, I’ve been on a reporting trip overseas, where I’ve been talking to sources about the controversy and how differing U.S. and European approaches to counterterrorism can complement each other. On Tuesday, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, told a congressional committee that his agency’s surveillance programs helped stop more than 50 terror plots in the U.S. and abroad. Five years ago, I was based in Europe covering terrorism, running from one attack or aborted plot to another. As the Brussels investigation shows, these cases frequently combined the high-tech reach of the U.S. counterterror apparatus with the street skills of foreign agencies. In November 2008, Pakistani and U.S. agents swooped into Kandahar and nabbed Bryant Neal Viñas, the convert from Long Island and al-Qaida militant. He cooperated with the FBI, admitting that he discussed an attack on the Long Island Rail Road with top al-Qaida figures. Days later, a drone strike killed Rashid Rauf, a Pakistani-British operative who helped plan the London transport bombings and the “liquid bomb” plot to blow up planes in 2006. Three Belgian and French militants returned home, where police arrested them after intercepts picked up menacing chatter. Viñas pleaded guilty. Aroud went to prison, and investigators believe her second husband Garsallaoui died in the land of jihad. Other cases benefited from close cooperation. In Germany in 2007, U.S. monitoring detected a suspect checking the draft file of an email box at an Internet cafe in Stuttgart. Armed with that lead, German security services deployed surveillance at numerous Internet cafes in the city. The investigation resulted in the dismantling of a Pakistan-trained group plotting to attack U.S. military targets in Germany. As several European sources told me, if an extremist in Marseilles was talking about nefarious activities with an extremist in Geneva over the Internet, chances were good that U.S. intelligence agencies would find out and inform the French and Swiss. Not because of sources on the ground, but because U.S. agencies could detect the communications through computer servers in the United States. The reaction here to the U.S. debate has been bemused. European terrorist hunters seem surprised that the revelation of the NSA data-monitoring programs is big news. The technological capacities of U.S. agencies have been an integral component of dramatically improved teamwork against terrorism during the past decade. “In the fight against terrorism, intelligence-sharing is essential,” said Jean-Louis Bruguière, who served for more than two decades as a top French antiterror magistrate before retiring in 2007. (He declined to discuss the NSA’s role in investigations.) “Cooperation with American services has always been trusting and excellent.”
Intelligence is key and privacy violations are minimal.
Hughes and Gorman 13 (Siobhan Hughes and Siobhan Gorman, “NSA Director Says Data Programs Foiled Plots”, The Wall Street Journal, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324688404578541582428920860 , June 12, 2013, Accessed: 6/29/2015, RJS)
WASHINGTON—The director of the National Security Agency, defending his agency after days of furor over secret data-surveillance programs, said those government efforts had prevented dozens of terrorist attacks in recent years. Testifying before a Senate committee, Army Gen. Keith Alexander didn't elaborate on the attacks that were stopped, other than to tie them to two well-known foiled 2009 plots. He said he would brief senators privately on Thursday and would push to make available more details about attacks that were foiled. His comments marked a clear campaign by the Obama administration to justify the surveillance programs after revelations last week exposed how the NSA uses classified orders from a secret court to amass the phone records of tens of millions of Americans. Those disclosures came from leaks engineered by Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former NSA contractor who said in an interview published Wednesday that he is seeking asylum in Hong Kong. In his Senate appearance Wednesday, Gen. Alexander, who joined the agency in 2005 and was a key executor of former President George W. Bush's warrantless-surveillance program, emphasized that NSA workers go to great lengths to respect the privacy of American citizens. "We have great people working under extremely difficult conditions to ensure the security of this nation and protect our civil liberties and privacy," Gen. Alexander said. "It's a very deliberate process," he said. "We don't get to look at the data. We don't get to swim through the data." He said much of the system needs to remain classified, but he said he would push to make public orders by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in response to requests by senators. On the track record in terror investigations, Gen. Alexander said that "it's dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent." DOCUMENTS NSA Director's Prepared Remarks RELATED ARTICLE How the NSA Got So Smart So Fast Man Behind Leaks Is Still in Hong Kong Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.) led Wednesday's Appropriations Committee hearing on cybersecurity programs. ENLARGE Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.) led Wednesday's Appropriations Committee hearing on cybersecurity programs. ASSOCIATED PRESS He at first appeared to imply that the NSA phone-records program alone had allowed the agency to stop attacks. He later elaborated that a separate program involving collection of Internet records belonging to foreigners, called Prism, was also involved in the disruption of potential terror plots. Gen. Alexander mentioned two cases that relied on data from the secret NSA programs to foil attacks: the 2009 New York City subway bombing plot by Najibullah Zazi, and a plot against a Danish newspaper by American David Coleman Headley the same year. Officials previously have cited the case of Mr. Zazi. Gen. Keith Alexander testifies in front of lawmakers on Wednesday, stating that the NSA is "deeply committed" to the protection of privacy rights and that "dozens" of terror events have been curbed in their efforts. Photo: AP Some senators emphasized concerns over the programs' privacy implications for Americans' personal information. "The American public is fearful that in this massive amount of data that you get that there is the ability of the federal government to synthesize that data and learn something more than maybe what was ever contemplated by the Patriot Act," Sen. Mike Johanns (R., Neb.) said. Added Sen. Tom Udall (D., N.M.): "It's very, very difficult I think for us to have a transparent debate about secret programs approved by a secret court issuing secret court orders based on secret interpretations of the law." Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), another civil-liberties advocate, asked why someone such as Mr. Snowden would have been able to have access to classified information. Gen. Alexander replied: "Some of these folks have tremendous skills to operate networks." He added that Mr. Snowden's ability to obtain those documents had uncovered a significant security problem and said intelligence agencies are taking an across-the-board look at the issue. "I have grave concerns about that—the access that he had," he said. The Senate Appropriations Committee hearing had been called to examine U.S. cybersecurity programs, but the hearing veered toward the weeklong controversy as senators got their first chance to ask questions publicly about the two NSA programs. Gen. Alexander acknowledged that the leaks had forced the administration to provide details about sensitive programs and that they will need to provide additional information to justify the programs' value.