The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pew Research: 56% Find Surveillance Palatable; Millennials Seems Unconcerned!


Allow me to open with the fact that I also am not comprehensively enamored with how our world has been turned upside down regarding authorized surveillance. It seems in most industrialized nations increased surveillance is as common as American hotcakes and maple syrup. America has been forced to join other societies in surveillance not common in our nation prior to 9.11.2011.

While I have an innate concern with surveillance,  I am committed to the position that the nation must undertake any measure to deprive secretive enemies of the state opportunity to coordinate attacks. My thoughts are also supported by years of angst in watching surreptitious monitoring (spying) develop to its current state. The US government used wiretaps to dismantle the Mafia, disrupt and plot against the Black Panther Party for Self Defense (COINTELPRO and similar measures), against Martin Luther King, against the Ku Klux Klan (quite gleefully) and against Occupy Wall Street.  

These measures are not new, and when the measures show they work, it is hard for me to find major fault.  Of course, we now have opportunity to shape the programs if our INTEL and security agencies will allow such. "Shape"?  We really should have some degree of transparency and assurance of how the programs are used with a focus on educating slightly less than half the nation which appears very concerned. 

Since late early 2002, a number of "terrorist" attacks against the United States have been thwarted, disrupted or "busted in the act."  A few of such attempts failed based on divine intervention via bomb equipment failures.  There is one case that is very much attributable to some monitoring of people who had connections in foreign countries known as terror heavens (i.e., Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen). I will add another critical point.   We as citizens have no idea or may not be able to comprehend the extent of success in eliminating many Al Qaeda leaders and fighters (Via the hated drone attacks) could have some data and information feeds via similar programs.  One very clear and well reported cases involved a home-grown terrorist and a few high school friends (plus his father in cover-up). 

The case of a Colorado man (his father's attempts at cover-up) are reported to be directly attributable to monitoring (email and possibly).

".....Najibullah Zazi, 26, who admitted to planning an attack on New York City with assistance from Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan."  Zazi and three co-defendant planned to bomb the NYC City subway systems. You can only imagine the plot involved high traffic periods.  After last week's revelations of Edward Snowden an INTEL official spoke openly on cable news about the plot and how Zazi communicated to handlers in Pakistan about failed bomb components. 

Let's take a moment and review a few passages related to Zazi and his (foiled) plot to perpetrate mayhem in the NYC subway system. First, a question, "Have you ever been in the NYC subways system at peak travel times and at high volumes train locations (train stops)?"

Najibullah Zazi
Zarein Ahmedzay
Adis Medunjanin


The admitted mastermind of a foiled plot to bomb New York subways testified Tuesday that he wanted to wage jihad in Afghanistan after coming to believe that the U.S. government was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Zazi has testified that during their 2008 trip to Pakistan, the three Americans met a top al-Qaida operative they knew only as Hamad. Authorities say Hamad was Adnan Shukrijumah, a Saudi still listed on an FBI website as a fugitive who plotted attacks for al-Qaida worldwide.
The men ended up choosing the subway because "it's the heart of everything in New York City," Zazi said Wednesday.
Read more
Email to handlers led to dismantling the plot. 

The government’s broad programs to collect U.S. phone records and Internet traffic helped disrupt a 2009 plot to bomb the New York City subways, a senior U.S. intelligence official said. 
But the assertion raises as many questions as it answers because court testimony indicated the subway plot investigation began with an email.
Afghan-American Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty in the 2009 plot, saying he had been recruited by al-Qaida in Pakistan. 
The break in that case came, according to court documents and testimony, when Zazi emailed a Yahoo address seeking help with his bomb recipe. 
At that time, British intelligence officials knew the Yahoo address was associated with an al-Qaida leader in Pakistan. That’s because, according to British government documents released in 2010, officials had discovered it on the computer of a terror suspect there months earlier. 
Because the NSA and British intelligence work so closely together and so little is known about how the NSA monitors email traffic, it’s possible that both agencies were monitoring the Yahoo address at the time Zazi sent the critical email in 2009. 
What’s unclear, though, is how the phone program aided the investigation, which utilized court-authorized wiretaps of Zazi and his friends.
 Read More   (A must read)
As stated previously, I am not totally excited about knowing my Verizon phone calls, my email and other electronic communication are pat of a meta-database, or read by people like Edward Snowden. I am completely in sync with the Administration killing known terrorist and fighters (I also abhor callous slaying of innocents). On the other hand, I would not like to have witnessed another massacre as we witnessed on 9/11.  A successful slaughter in the NYC subway systems could have been equally catastrophic and even more psychologically devastating to the nation. Even if you are not an investor another consideration is the deep losses in the financial sector post 9/11.  The monitoring may help to ward-off loss of life, damage to national security, and deep financial losses when the US can ill afford such setbacks.

Apparently, a slight majority of a specific survey group felt they would prefer the security of monitoring to ward-off or mitigate clear and-present danger.

Pew Research


The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, conducted June 6-9 among 1,004 adults, finds no indications that last week’s revelations of the government’s collection of phone records and internet data have altered fundamental public views about the trade off between investigating possible terrorism and protecting personal privacy.  

The small survey group (1,000 respondents) interwove their sentiments regrading surveillance in a most interesting and probably accurate manner.  You will notice the preponderance of users (the young) in this small survey group does not seem to consider surveillance a critical issue.
 6-10-13 #1                                     6-10-13 #2 6-10-13 #4

6-10-13 #8


Currently 62% say it is more important for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy. Just 34% say it is more important for the government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats.
Read much more 

We will again state the right to modify my positions on national surveillance. Until effective methods of combating enemies of the state, who must use communications tools for expedience, are available I remain open to surveillance.   My openness is buoyed by the fact that the programs are not new to our world, and may have developed more technological based as unstoppable technology continues to develop. 

Additional information sources

CBS Denver

People Press Dot Org


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