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Crime Encryption Government United States

California Attack Has US Rethinking Strategy On Homegrown Terror (nytimes.com) 676

JoeyRox writes: The recent terror attack in California reflects "an evolution of the terrorist threat that Mr. Obama and federal officials have long dreaded: homegrown, self-radicalized individuals operating undetected before striking one of many soft targets that can never be fully protected in a country as sprawling as the United States." With this new type of terror risk, authorities may begin relying more heavily on citizens reporting suspicious behavior of others. The attack is also expected to renew the debate over privacy versus security for software encryption. President Obama will be addressing the nation tonight to discuss the attack.
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California Attack Has US Rethinking Strategy On Homegrown Terror

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It makes people in American look bad even though they were ISIS supporters. That makes me so happy.

    • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @12:24PM (#51067571) Journal

      The government, through Saudi Arabia, is an ISIS supporter. And then, after ISIS, you will hear about ISIS 2.0, or is it Al Qaeda 3.0 [washingtonpost.com]? Either way, the war is coming home to roost.

  • by quintessencesluglord ( 652360 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @09:44AM (#51066945)

    This is just a rehash of the discussions that happened shortly after 9/11 (nevar forget), and the major events I recall from that was the collective assholes of the nation puckered up (really, the nation was nearly sane just prior), and the local Moroccan restaurant got firebombed (because they were obviously evil in trying to feed you).

    So after the last wave of security theater, what will be different this time?

    Certainly not our foreign policy. Certainly not adopting procedures from countries that do deal with terrorism successfully. Certainly not the need to throw even more money to departments that accomplish next to nothing.

    But kiss even more of your civil rights goodbye.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And don't forget, none of the terror incidents of late has involved strong encryption or even the hint of anybody knowing how to use it--so we have to ban strong encryption because reasons.

      Or we could, you know, stop letting people into this country who have backgrounds that correspond to this kind of behavior.

    • by Bruce66423 ( 1678196 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @10:14AM (#51067055)
      This latest one was little more than a bad weekend in Chicago. Given that Chicago can't be controlled, the belief that a far more diffuse threat can be seriously challenged is the security state looking for a funding rise. Let's just be grateful that they've stayed low tech so far.
      • by c ( 8461 ) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Sunday December 06, 2015 @10:52AM (#51067209)

        Let's just be grateful that they've stayed low tech so far.

        Actually, I'm just kind of grateful they aren't interested in subtlety. In this case, the guy was a health inspector... he could've eventually had a higher body count if the worst thing he did was fucking up his job. If he were actively sabotaging things, it would have gotten ugly.

      • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @01:07PM (#51067777)

        This latest one was little more than a bad weekend in Chicago. Given that Chicago can't be controlled ...

        Of course it can be controlled. The problem is that the entrenched liberal local government and voters in Chicago don't want to admit the nature of the problem, or take the steps needed to control it - because that would be, you know, mean. Or racist. Or something.

        Other large cities (even ones with much worse local economies) have far less draconian gun laws, less of a police presence, more guns owned per capita ... and not even a pale shadow of the violence problem that Chicago (or Baltimore, or New Orleans) has. This is a local culture problem, period.

        That said, there are some substantial qualitative differences between local street corner turf wars and grudge killings ... and religiously motivated theo-thug terror killings done in the name of a large and growing, well funded, well organized Islamist group's international agenda. Those things manifest themselves differently, and involve pretty specific demographics, travel, and communication.

    • Certainly not adopting procedures from countries that do deal with terrorism successfully.

      Generally the countries that deal with this successfully do so with a much higher level of citizen surveillance than many of us would find acceptable.

  • Homegrown? Come on (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2015 @09:58AM (#51066989)
    If Obama attempts to label this as a "homegrown" terrorist, it truly conveys that he has NO grip on the situation at all, and is only looking to monopolize on the situation to further his agenda and gain political favors and to further "his legacy". Make no mistake this man was a American born citizen, however his wife was of Saudi Arabia and has just as much to do with the attack as anyone else and was done in collaboration with terrorist contacts he had external to this country. Yes there are domestic elements to it, but to go about it and treat it solely as a "domestic" incident would be stupid.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @10:43AM (#51067173) Homepage

      He has a solid grip on it. and calling it that is very calculated.

      Homegrown terrorist makes people feel more helpless that they can not do anything about it and need daddy government to help them.

      If you call it a real Terrorist attack, even the hard left liberals will be in line at the gun shop to buy AR15's and a ammo can of 1000 rounds. Americans will gleefully arm themselves to fight a foreign threat.

      but homegrown? I'm helpless, my neighbor could be one! Help me daddy gubment! Where can I report them?

      The LAST thing republicans and democrats want is all of america's citizens arming themselves heavily and organizing.

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @01:00PM (#51067745)

        Your argument is badly flawed. I have almost nothing to fear from foreign terrorists. The true threat is my own countrymen and always has been. I'm much, much more likely to be shot stopping at a local convenience store than by any terrorist home grown or not. I avoid areas around town that are known to be "combat zones" and when I travel to Atlanta I always pack heat but really I have virtually no fear. My most likely means of demise will be either cancer or heart disease just like most Americans. Cancer due to the exposure to chromium and other substances in my job in the aviation industry and heart disease because I eat too fucking much. Terrorists make for good TV but if anyone stops to think about it they'll realize that they're just an annoyance.

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Fooled you, his wife was the daughter of Pakistanis, they emigrated to SA about 20 years or so ago. Please try to keep up,

    • by Lawrence_Bird ( 67278 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @11:00AM (#51067251) Homepage

      Apparently nor do you as she was Pakistani.

      It is domestic because it was not (from what has been leaked as "known" so far) directed from outside the US.

      And as wtih Paris, the hyperventilating over the death of a small number is sickening (don't confuse that with a lack of sympathy for the dead/wounded). The number killed in terrorist attacks (even using the incredibly lose definitions of the government) is, well, not even microscopic. So yeah, lets just toss away more of our rights and liberties to let "daddy" protect us from something he can't stop and is very rare (see Paris - they knew most of the attackers) After all, those rights and liberties don't serve any real purpose so just give them back to the terrorists.

      What I do want to hear from Obama before he creates a new Stasi is who from DHS will be fired for giving her a visa in the first place.

    • Is there some reason to believe there was collaboration with foreign terrorist contacts? I haven't come across that information.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        LA times [latimes.com]

        Claims the woman was in contact with two foreign terrorist groups. Of course they immediately then say there was no outside influence (because politically that would be damaging to Obama). But yes, they were contacting outside, should have been picked by by NSA legally for contacting foreign known terrorists, should have been under watch, etc. etc. etc.

        The NSA spying doesn't work, even when people contact known terrorists they are not looked at. If you are a journalist that is critical of the adm

    • If Obama attempts to label this as a "homegrown" terrorist, it truly conveys that he has NO grip on the situation at all, and is only looking to monopolize on the situation to further his agenda and gain political favors and to further "his legacy".

      What do you mean by monopolize here? Do you maybe mean capitalize?

  • So, ponder this... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2015 @10:17AM (#51067069)

    Dec 2nd, 2 baddies kill 14 people in CA = CNN says "assault weapons" for 12 straight hours.

    Oct 3rd, An AC-130 gunship and crew of 13 rain 211 shells on a hospital in for nearly an hour killing 63 patients and international volunteer doctors = CNN barely mentioned it, and somehow failed to categorize the gunship loaded with 211 shells an "assault weapon"

    Why didn't the pres address the nation over this one?

    • Get back to me when I can buy a fully-loaded AC130 gunship without an ID check.

      Apples and oranges.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2015 @10:40AM (#51067155)

      Because the US military committed a war crime and leveraged everything they had to suppress the story.

      I truly hope that MSF is successful in taking the US to The Hague over this atrocity. I know that may seem like I'm holding the US military to an unfair standard, but actually, under the circumstances they absolutely should have done better. What's the point in having all this modern near-instant communication equipment, surveillance gear, and data-exchange if such tragedy can still occur.

      Here's the latest for those who haven't heard anything in a while:

      http://www.aviationpros.com/news/12143532/us-service-members-suspended-for-attack-on-afghan-hospital-could-face-court-martial

      The US should hang its head in shame, rather than try to suppress this as they have done. For a truly sickening experience, go back and read the news reports in the days and weeks following the event. The blatant way they drag their feet over the incident is just as disgusting as the event itself.

    • More pertinent, radicalized man goes into medical clinic in Colorado, shoots it up to make a political point and somehow that *isn't* terrorism?
  • "The attack is also expected to renew the debate over privacy versus security for software encryption"

    Why? Is the any evidence they used any form of communication or encryption? These attacks barely show as a rounding error in overall homicide statistics. Just catch/kill those who commit such acts, remove as many of the drives as possible (unemployment, collateral damage, injustice, etc) and move on with life. Our "solution" to terrorism of wildly throwing billions of dollars at the defense industry and

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @10:56AM (#51067229) Journal

    If we just put all the Muslims in Planned Parenthood clinics, then our homegrown terrorists will become the homegrown solution.

    http://time.com/3934980/right-... [time.com]

  • My prediction.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by erp_consultant ( 2614861 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @11:05AM (#51067265)

    After 9/11 the government created DHS to supposedly prevent terror attacks from happening again. As others have discussed, this is nothing more than political theater. Billions of dollars and thousands of bumbling bureaucrats later, we are no safer now than we were then. All it has done is create delays for millions of air passengers every year.

    So Obama will predictably call for more of the same. More invasion of privacy, more bureaucrats, more wasted effort. This is what government always does - when an idea doesn't work throw more money at it.

    Meanwhile he will double down on more gun control. The problem is that law enforcement is almost always in a reactive role. A crime gets committed and they show up, clean up the mess, and try to find out who is responsible. In the interim, lots of people die. What he doesn't want to admit to is that is citizens are armed then these types of terror attacks would have minimal or no damage. Instead of everyone standing around watching people get shot someone will pull out a piece and shoot the shooter.

    Once again, political correctness and party politics get in the way of common sense.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2015 @11:22AM (#51067307)

      Whatever happened to, "Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself"?

      I don't want to trade liberty for security. Am I in the minority here with my wanting to have my civil liberties?

    • by pepty ( 1976012 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @12:46PM (#51067683)

      What he doesn't want to admit to is that is citizens are armed then these types of terror attacks would have minimal or no damage. Instead of everyone standing around watching people get shot someone will pull out a piece and shoot the shooter.

      So how many armed civilians do you need to drop the mass killing rate by 50%? Quite a lot to have 1 or more on hand at every large gathering. Bear in mind, dropping the mass killing rate by half would drop the homicide rate by less than 0.3%. Meanwhile, now every office party where people are drinking now has at least someone armed in attendance. Does getting a CCW permit automatically cause abstinence from drinking and drug use while carrying? What could go wrong? Considering that in the US accidental shootings alone kill ~10 times more people than mass shootings, I think more people would die rather than fewer.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      I'm waiting for them to try this kind of terror attack in someplace like Waco, Texas.

  • by gabrieltss ( 64078 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @11:46AM (#51067397)

    From TFA:
    "With this new type of terror risk, authorities may begin relying more heavily on citizens reporting suspicious behavior of others."

    And now you can report on your neighbor from your iPhone and Android phone!
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/ap... [apple.com]
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/ap... [apple.com]

    It was said back in the 80's that the United States would become more like the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union would become more like the United States. Well that is coming to pass. Just do a web search on "United States to become more like Soviet Union".

    From TFA:
    "First, there was CIA director John Brennan, last seen deceiving the public about the CIA spying on Senate staffers, lamenting that privacy laws were to blame."

    "Then thereâ(TM)s the question of why journalists always frame the encryption debate as a perilous balance between privacy and security. "

    Franklin said it best!
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
    - Benjamin Franklin

    • Android app:
      https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]

    • It was said back in the 80's that the United States would become more like the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union would become more like the United States.

      The breakup of the East Bloc has led to an outpouring of academics and migrants who bring the bad ideas of those regimes with them to the West. In addition, a lot of the younger generations in Central Europe don't remember how bad socialism and fascism actually were, and are now reverting to the older political ideas common to their cultures. Likewise, US

  • by RichMan ( 8097 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @12:16PM (#51067533)

    When you can't trust your neighbour not to go on a shooting rampage society has already failed. What we need to do is spend money on building up social structure. Street parties, neighbourhood parties, things that bring people together and strengthen the social structure.

    Going all "report your neighbour" is going to build up the walls of distrust and lead to more problems.

    • It failed for the Nazis, and the Soviets, why can't if fail for America?
    • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @01:01PM (#51067749)

      When you can't trust your neighbour not to go on a shooting rampage society has already failed.

      I trust my neighbors to not go on a shooting rampage. Or run me down with their SUV either.

      And I live in a place where it's pretty much guaranteed that everyone within a mile owns gun(s).

      Now, do I trust YOUR neighbor? Well, no so much as I do my own, but prolly more than you might expect.

      Seriously, I'm not sure I've ever been anywhere that people were quite that paranoid. Though you wouldn't know that from the news, would you?

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @03:20PM (#51068357) Journal

      What we need to do is spend money on building up social structure. Street parties, neighbourhood parties, things that bring people together and strengthen the social structure

      Reports are that the coworkers of this guy threw a baby shower for his wife, not long before he shot them.

  • by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @12:19PM (#51067555)

    So the proposed solution is: (1) more government supervision, (2) more gun control, and (3) more encryption? This guy was being observed by the government every day because he was working for the government, the shooting took place in one of the most strictly gun controlled states in the nation, and there is no evidence he needed encryption. In addition, the shooter wasn't a "homegrown, self-radicalized individual", he was radicalized abroad by a belief system many people share and spread.

    What this reflects is the utter impotence of the current administration to do anything meaningful. Obama promised a restoration of privacy, constitutionality, and a radically different foreign policy, and he has turned out as bad as Bush, if not worse.

    Addressing the terror threat will require massive changes in US foreign policy, plus many years of patience for things to calm down. Getting in bed with Middle Eastern despots for oil and cleaning up the messes that European colonialism left across the globe have always been questionable to begin with, but at least there was some economic justification for it. In the 21st century, these policies are just imbecilic.

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