Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism – The New York Times

It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low.From Our AdvertisersSpeaking less than three days after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129 and injured hundreds more, Mr. Brennan complained about “a lot of hand-wringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists.”What he calls “hand-wringing” was the sustained national outrage following the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, that the agency was using provisions of the Patriot Act to secretly collect information on millions of Americans’ phone records. In June, President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, which ends bulk collection of domestic phone data by the government (but not the collection of other data, like emails and the content of Americans’ international phone calls) and requires the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to make its most significant rulings available to the public.

Source: Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism – The New York Times

Hey There, Extremely Rare Sea Turtle! What Are You Doing In A NorCal River?: SFist

In his post to YouTube, Maloon asks “any ideas what kinda of turtle this was?” Last night, Marin County’s Turtle Island Restoration Network had an answer, as spokesman Todd Steiner told CBS Sacramento that “There is no doubt in my mind that this is the Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtle.”Steiner tells CBS5 that the endangered turtles “primarily live in the warmer, more tropical waters off of central and southern Mexico.”“This animal clearly came from the Pacific Ocean, there’s no question about that,” Steiner says.So what was the beast doing in Lathrop, a small town in San Joaquin County? This year’s unusual weather could be to blame, Steiner says.“It may be associated with an El Nino event, but even with an El Nino event, it’s highly unusual.”The turtle “Apparently went north into San Francisco Bay,” Steiner says, “and now it seems to be heading directly east.”Wherever you’re going, turtle, I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Source: Hey There, Extremely Rare Sea Turtle! What Are You Doing In A NorCal River?: SFist

G.O.P. Governors Vow to Close Doors to Syrian Refugees – The New York Times {25 Governors announce they are actively anti-American, bigoted, and cowards!}

Twenty-five Republican governors vowed to block the entry of Syrian refugees into their states, arguing that the safety of Americans was at stake after the Paris attacks by terrorists including a man who entered Europe with a Syrian passport and posed as a migrant. Among the governors were those from Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas and other states that have already resettled relatively large numbers of refugees from among the 1,900 Syrians accepted by the United States in the last four years.

Source: G.O.P. Governors Vow to Close Doors to Syrian Refugees – The New York Times

It has now been confirmed that one of the Paris suicide bombers reached Europe disguised as a refugee. Security officials had long felt that such a scenario was unlikely. How big is the risk?

Source: SPIEGEL ONLINE

For information on foreign fighters, German investigators are dependent on intelligence information — indications gleaned by the US from emails, phone conversations or chats, for example, that a certain jihadi may have left Syria. In such instances, however, police work is necessary to find them, particularly if they are traveling on falsified documents. Simply closing Europe’s or Germany’s borders, as has frequently been demanded in recent weeks, wouldn’t offer much protection.