Photo Jonathan Blair

Friday, November 20, 2015

Terrorism: the need for intelligent intelligence, not just more of it

To those who may think that even C-51 is not enough and that Canada should put even more resources into controlling its population, the lesson from France may well be that, at some point, expanding the reach of surveillance becomes counterproductive, and that point may already have been reached in France. 

From The Economist:

"France has robust judicial and security laws that give investigators fairly sweeping powers to monitor, detain and interrogate suspects. In the past these have been envied by their counterparts working in countries with stricter constraints. Yet the French now seem to be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers involved. Manuel Valls, the prime minister, acknowledged this week that fully 10,500 people in France are on a file known as “Fiche S”, meaning that they are suspected of being radicalized.

Assessed on a scale, they range from those who have simply looked at jihadist websites or met radicals outside mosques, to those considered highly dangerous. Only a fraction can be monitored closely, because it requires 20 agents to follow one suspect round the clock. As François Heisbourg, of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris, points out, it is in many ways good news that people like Amimour and Mostefai were known to the intelligence services. The trouble seems to lie with the analysis of the risk they posed, and the follow-up.”