Government officials use terror attack on the U.S. and other western nations as a rallying cry for increased authority to invade citizen privacy. But following the terror attack on a pop concert in Manchester, U.K., Monday night, Judge Andrew Napolitano argued that the problem governments have certainly isn’t a lack of information.
Just as American officials have after recent terror attacks on U.S. soil, British intelligence officials were able to garner information about the perpetrators of the U.K. attack after the fact.
But it isn’t because they didn’t have the information prior to the bombing, Napolitano noted Tuesday on Fox News.
Like the National Security Agency in the U.S., British intelligence officers had access to the digital communications of the Manchester bomb perpetrators long before the attack occurred. Unfortunately, thanks to liberalized spying laws they also have the digital communications data of millions of innocent people. There’s simply too much data for intelligence agencies to sort through to recognize potential bad actors before they carry out mass killings.
Napolitano called it “information overload.”
The Fox contributor said:
It keeps happening over and over again. I don’t want to sound callous, I’m not. I’m sympathetic and empathetic.
But the fact that British law enforcement is able to go through cell phones and text messages now means they should have gone through cell phones and text messages earlier. Just like our NSA, they had all this information. They suffer, just like we do here, from information overload. It’s impossible for them to examine all the data we had. San Bernardino, Orlando, and even the Boston marathon, we had all their text messages, we didn’t know about it until those tragedies occurred.
If agencies don’t better target surveillance activities, Napolitano concluded, they’ll continue to miss major warning signs ahead of terror attacks.
“There almost always are some warning signs,” he said.
Information overload as it pertains to the surveliance state’s inability to recognize credible threats is something we’ve covered in the past. Read More: Dragnet surveillance to blame for FBI’s inability to identify Orlando shooter
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