It's not so much that the government has -ongoing- surveillance on every individual. That's simply impractical in the extremes. Any such system,
particularly one engineered by our bureaucracy, would become clogged with useless information.
Key types of activity are monitored.
For example - we run all TCNs through biometric databases, adding them if necessary, when they enroll to work on a compound. Their data is compared
against that of known persons of interest and flagged if necessary.
We don't have black helicopters following each of them around or have teams prying into their facebook pages. It's too much data to sift through
for no real gain.
But if a known AQ operative (or a member of some other extremist organization) tried to land a contractor job, he'd get flagged on enrollment (and
he'd get taken to the ground if he tried to get in without going through that enrollment process).
That said - if someone tips off the teams that do investigations; those teams will follow those tips and start digging into a person's "E-profiles"
(as well as other accessible information) to see if there's cause for concern.
These tips come from people - forum members/browsers, friends or acquaintances on facebook who get concerned about an individual's behavior... the
list of potential informants is long.
That's not to say you need a society full of narcs... but if someone's making the hair on the back of your neck stand up - there's a reason for it.
Chances are, your neighbor isn't inserting human IL4 genes into smallpox acquired from former soviet stockpiles.... but if something seems way off -
I should hope you bring it to someone else's attention.
Or snoop around and get yourself injured/killed - bring the spot-light down.... something.
Studies like this scare the # out of me: www.fas.org...
100% mortality rates among those not vaccinated... 60% among those vaccinated.
And you can do it with stuff common in a highschool biology lab. How wonderful
Such a strain would be hotter than Ebola - hotter than hell.... airborne transmission, contagion before visible symptoms, deliberate triggering of
cytokine storms (jamming your immune system)... You want to see the human population virtually eliminated in a year - release something like that.
So... on one hand, we have to address two naive concepts.
It is incredibly naive to think that the actions of individuals or small groups will be of minimal consequence to the larger whole of society. We are
lucky renegades are so fixated on explosives. Biological agents offer far, far more destructive potential.
On the other hand - it's incredibly naive to think that government surveillance of everything is going to fix the problems. Countries like Dubai
have low crime rates because the surveillance is so heavy that crime literally doesn't pay - you almost always get caught. ... But that doesn't do
much to prevent a crime - particularly someone bent on destruction - from occurring. It's easy to find clues in records and data when you have
'anchors' to your search. When you're trying to analyze data in real time and locate signs of nefarious activity, you're chasing ghosts and
phantasms in a noisy storm of information.
So, the practical thing is to accept a bit of a compromise. I don't need to be making nuclear or biological weapons in my back yard - regardless of
whether or not I plan to use them to hurt someone. It's impractical and entirely too empowering to give the government real-time surveillance over
everything I do. So I accept that government agencies would be looking for purchasing trends that indicate I'm buying components for bombs or to
start a crude level 4 hot lab in my garage... and be around to see what the deal is.
Will it flag situations that are innocuous from time to time? Of course. That's why you have people come in and apply common sense. Will some
plans succeed in spoofing the detection system? Of course. No defense is entirely perfect. You simply have to match the defense effort to the
threat and combine strategies that are both efficient and effective.