The problem with this claim is that the NSA has a far more extensive dragnet covering the Middle East and Europe than it does on Americans. It can and does bulk collect metadata overseas without the restrictions that existed for the Section 215 dragnet. In addition to the metadata of phone calls and Internet communications, it can collect GPS location, financial information, and other metadata scraped from the content of communications.The response, of course, will be more and more hyper-surveillance.
The dragnet covering these terrorists is the kind of dragnet the NSA would love to have on Americans, if Americans lost all concern for their privacy.
And that’s just what the NSA (and GCHQ) have. The French have their own dragnet. They already had permission to hold onto metadata, but after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, they expanded their ability to wiretap without court approval. So the key ingredients to a successful use of the metadata were there: the ability to collect the metadata and awareness that one of the people was someone of concern.
The FBI plans closer monitoring of suspected ISIS sympathizers, including more wiretaps, as a way to guard against potential threats in the U.S., after the Paris attacks, two U.S. law enforcement officials told CNN.Because, as we should well understand by now, preventing an attack is not the point of surveillance. Controlling dissent is.
The Garland attack ushered in several months of stepped-up use of 24/7 monitoring on suspected ISIS supporters. FBI Director James Comey has described the period between May and July as one that stretched the FBI's resources, and that isn't sustainable. Dozens of arrests were made, in many cases not for terrorism-related charges if the FBI couldn't gather enough evidence of a plot.Any excuse to "get people off the streets." 2016 is going to be an awesome election year.
"In some cases we just needed to get people off the streets," one senior law enforcement official said