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Could NSA methods have helped to prevent Paris terrorist attack?

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posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 06:32 AM
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Could NSA continued communications surveillance in France have helped to prevent the terror in Paris?

I think it is a question that needs to be asked.

I also know how sensitive a subject this is with many people but until technology figures out a way to tag a terrorist, what other options are there but to monitor the only thing they need to operate, and that is our global communications networks.

How effective has it been in the past, to deter terrorist plots?

Well jury off on vacation on that one. Depending upon where you get your data, it is '0' or 54, since January 1, 2014.

Source:
Pro Publica


Claim on “Attacks Thwarted” by NSA Spreads Despite Lack of Evidence

25 in Europe
13 in U.S.
11 in Asia
5 in Africa

54 total Attacks Thwarted

Two weeks after Edward Snowden’s first revelations about sweeping government surveillance, President Obama shot back. “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,” Obama said during a visit to Berlin in June. “So lives have been saved.”

“Fifty-four times this and the other program stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks both here and in Europe — saving real lives,” Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said on the House floor in July, referring to programs authorized by a pair of post-9/11 laws. “This isn’t a game. This is real.”



Additionally, back a few years ago the French were not too happy about the statistics that they were part of the clandestine NSA wiretapping activity in their country:
--------

Source:
BBC

French President Hollande berates US over spying claims



French President Francois Hollande has expressed "deep disapproval" over claims the US National Security Agency secretly tapped phone calls in France.

In a phone conversation with US President Barack Obama, he said this was "unacceptable between friends and allies", demanding an explanation.

The White House said the claims "raise legitimate questions".

The NSA spied on 70.3 million phone calls in France between 10 December 2012 and 8 January 2013, it is claimed.

Officials, businesses and terror suspects are among those believed to have been tracked.



The NSA said after, that they had curtailed those French snoops on their internet and phone traffic, but.. did they?

One thing that is near certainty, when it comes to the one tool that would be required by any terrorist cell, it would be the world's communications network, which of course encompass all Phone and Internet traffic, whether it be Cable, Land line, Cell, Microwave or Satellite.

So the real question here is:

What freedoms are we able to give up to prevent endless occurrences of what we have just recently seen in Paris?

Is is Justified? and if so, should it be stepped up again?

I am sure ATS has an overload of info for this, so I will just let it rip.




posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 06:38 AM
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no



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 06:38 AM
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I dont the CIA would have been very happy with them if they did.
edit on 10-1-2015 by Dabrazzo because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 06:54 AM
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I am going to say no.

They attacks could have been prevented if the French Security services were more effective and were keeping better tabs on these two guys but I don't think the NSA could really have done much.

The huge exposure of the Prism Program means that really any terrorist would have to be really dumb to go and start using electronic communications to discuss details of their plans.

I personally doubt that they would have used electronic communication to have discussed any details that would have gave the NSA the opportunity to step in and prevent the attacks.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 07:02 AM
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originally posted by: OtherSideOfTheCoin
I am going to say no.

They attacks could have been prevented if the French Security services were more effective and were keeping better tabs on these two guys but I don't think the NSA could really have done much.

The huge exposure of the Prism Program means that really any terrorist would have to be really dumb to go and start using electronic communications to discuss details of their plans.

I personally doubt that they would have used electronic communication to have discussed any details that would have gave the NSA the opportunity to step in and prevent the attacks.


Well, it invokes the obvious question as to what else could they use? Every remote command and control network requires communications. Even a private satellite links gets into the grid somewhere. Yes, they use encryption, but even the traffic can give clues.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 07:05 AM
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originally posted by: charlyv

originally posted by: OtherSideOfTheCoin
I am going to say no.

They attacks could have been prevented if the French Security services were more effective and were keeping better tabs on these two guys but I don't think the NSA could really have done much.

The huge exposure of the Prism Program means that really any terrorist would have to be really dumb to go and start using electronic communications to discuss details of their plans.

I personally doubt that they would have used electronic communication to have discussed any details that would have gave the NSA the opportunity to step in and prevent the attacks.


Well, it invokes the obvious question as to what else could they use? Every remote command and control network requires communications. Even a private satellite links gets into the grid somewhere. Yes, they use encryption, but even the traffic can give clues.


Well they where brothers

I talk to my brother face to face most weeks.

They could have planed the whole thing with out any electronic communication, its not really that difficult to go low-tech.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 07:05 AM
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Obliviously NO.

Why?

Cause France is already getting key intel from the US as it is a key allie of the USA and UK and is a key member in NATO.

Though not a member in prism it would still be getting intel from it.

The failure was likely Frances security services failure to act on the intel there allies were feeding them.

The UK KNEW these Jihad joe were a risk. I find it very hard to believe they did not share that intel with our French Allies ESPECIALLY when France are our neighbors and a attack could hurt us.
edit on 10-1-2015 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 07:06 AM
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a reply to: OtherSideOfTheCoin

This is something that people appear to overlook. NSA surveillance is at an extremely high level and is probably nowhere near the level they would like it to be. They want 100% dominance and access across the communications world. Despite that, we are all still people who aren't always predictable and are capable of planning activities without the internet or phones.

Anyone with access to weapons can go out and shoot a specific target group. It's not always going to be someone's fault that an atrocity happens. Of course, it's problematic for Intel when they promote the idea that increased surveillance means increased safety. Nevertheless, even though they've removed the 'privilege' of privacy and made intrusion a 'kindness,' they can't be held responsible every time some extremists or mentally-ill person goes out to murder.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 07:12 AM
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PRISM would likely not have stopped the attacks as they were small scale and there would likely not have been a great deal of "chatter". PRISM only deals with intercepting digital communications. Both of the brothers were already known threats and were on the US no-fly list. While this suggests that they should have had more scrutiny than others, the inverse is probably the case - they were isolated and, therefore would have been considered a neutered threat.

The one facet of this that does not make sense to me is that they were in possession of high tech body armor - the purchase of which should have flagged any western law enforcement agency. I have not read enough yet and it is possible the body armor was purchased black market or outside of the western world - but that is the one stand-out that. at least in the US, the FBI would have seen as a glaring clue.

Understanding the software that PRISM runs, however, is important because it's not really designed to seek out individual threats. It's designed to look for larger trends than just one or two people. It aggregates and analyzes through filters. Think of it as a very accurate mood ring that can be focused upon an entire nation or a small town.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 07:20 AM
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Stop an honest to God terror filled media fun fest? Who wants to do that?

Just look at the ratings. France had their very own Boston Bombing style manhunt episode. The world had a front row seat. The flashing lights, storm troopers and oh, the humanity…

Now they can go back to more austere business, a little "safer", a little more loyal to the government… or else.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 07:32 AM
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originally posted by: Hefficide

PRISM would likely not have stopped the attacks as they were small scale and there would likely not have been a great deal of "chatter". PRISM only deals with intercepting digital communications. Both of the brothers were already known threats and were on the US no-fly list. While this suggests that they should have had more scrutiny than others, the inverse is probably the case - they were isolated and, therefore would have been considered a neutered threat.

The one facet of this that does not make sense to me is that they were in possession of high tech body armor - the purchase of which should have flagged any western law enforcement agency. I have not read enough yet and it is possible the body armor was purchased black market or outside of the western world - but that is the one stand-out that. at least in the US, the FBI would have seen as a glaring clue.

Understanding the software that PRISM runs, however, is important because it's not really designed to seek out individual threats. It's designed to look for larger trends than just one or two people. It aggregates and analyzes through filters. Think of it as a very accurate mood ring that can be focused upon an entire nation or a small town.


I guess that I am talking about the communications and prep that would have been leading up to this. Real time at the occurrence is most likely out of scope, except for any cell activity between them at the time, and I realize that. It is just that they were already in the system, and they were living in France, and that makes me think they would have ways to try and find out where they were. If they knew they had a cell phone, then GPS info for the Charlie site would have been crucial. However, I do not know the extent of what is possible or the capability. I am also sure that the capability is not publicly available. Thanks.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 08:39 AM
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I have the feeling, that people on ATS totally underestimate French counter terrorism.
They are probably on the same, if not on a better level than US counter terrorism.
So, no the NSA methods could not have done any better. Sometimes a fish slips through the net.
I still don't understand how it was possible for highly known targets like that, but it still happens.
France is a relatively small country population wise and has more than 5000 known threats, they do not have the people to keep eyes on everybody constantly.
Same goes for the US though.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 11:22 AM
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NO! No amount of intel can hope to stop random acts of violence. Just because they are just that, random. The ONLY way to stop acts like these happening is to remove ALL future perpetrators from the country. Now how you determine these future terrorists is very contentious.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 11:27 AM
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a reply to: crayzeed

Contentious indeed. In the United States the profile for spree killers ( religious or not ) is a male in his teens to early twenties. Would it be logistically possible to illegally strip every young male of his citizenship and send him somewhere else? If so, what nation would want to accept our most dangerous demographic?

Or are you talking about more specific and general ideas, like sub categorizing and only shipping off people of certain faiths or ethnic heritages?

Gets kind of sticky and all 1930's Germany when you think about it, huh?



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 11:43 AM
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a reply to: charlyv

Human Intel has taken a backseat to data hoarding. I've read accounts of ex or retired intelligence operatives bemoaning this fact and the obvious dangers to everyone's freedom. The NSA considers every citizen an enemy combatant, guilty before proven innocent.

So, no I do not think more of what the NSA does is the answer. More warm bodies with training and intent focused on a task as opposed to cold meta-data of dubious worth.

Also, the majority of those thwarted attacks were stings in which individuals were duped into performing terrorist acts by the FBI. Others were reported by average citizens.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 01:29 PM
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a reply to: Hefficide
Being as the original thread was talking about the recent French incidents I think you can take it as read who and what sort of people we're talking about. Not your own home grown psychopaths.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 03:27 PM
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There were terrorist before "Global Communications" and will be terrorist after we lose our right to the "network". Everyone still has communication skills that do not involve technology. So no nothing short of a very ugly sterile environment would prevent terrorist activity and even then we would still have those intent on destroying each other doing just that.

We cannot give in to the chants of "giving up freedom for security" as we shall never have security in a world dominated by a few elite idiots all attempting to have full control.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 04:52 PM
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a reply to: charlyv

No.

Just two things to take into consideration:

1.
Even the pubescent middle class youngsters from the Black Block are capable of avoiding surveillance with their conspiratorial methods.
If they can 'go dark' to do their thing - why would determined terrorists fail?

2.
The most controlled environment we know within our society today are prisons - and yet they're not 100% crime-free zones.
Why? Because such a thing as 100% guaranteed security simply doesn't exist.

Do you want to live in a world cut-out like a prison?

What is guaranteed though is that we lose our freedoms - if we would let entities like the NSA/Stasi/Gestapo run the show.
edit on 10-1-2015 by ColCurious because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 05:43 PM
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If NSA or CIA were worth their salt, it would in fact have been prevented. Further evidence that NSA and CIA are virtually useless and do nothing more than stir the pot and poke sticks in the hornets' nest of the world. They both need to be abolished because they are both useless.



posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 06:52 PM
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Thanks to those that posted. Not a very popular subject, is it?
With the limited response, the overwhelming consensus is against it, or does not think it is effective.
Good information for a relatively unbiased inquiry, however I thought that this issue may come up again in light of recent events.



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