Monday, 14 December 2015

Isil might as well throw in the sponge right now...

I mean, really? Or has she been told not to hand out that sort of information to anyone - especially not to the elected representatives of the American people? 

But in case Americans feel somewhat unprotected against potential Islamic terrorists after watching that exchange, they might like to ponder the following new item from The Hill (here):
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh [sic] Johnson decided against ending a secret U.S. policy that prohibits immigration officials from reviewing social media posts of foreigners applying for U.S. visas, according to a report by ABC News.
Johnson decided to keep the prohibition in place in early 2014 because he feared a civil liberties backlash and “bad public relations,” according to ABC.
“During that time period immigration officials were not allowed to use or review social media as part of the screening process,” John Cohen, a former acting undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security for intelligence and analysis, told ABC News. 
One current and one former senior counterterrorism official confirmed Cohen’s account to ABC. 
A DHS spokesman told ABC News that in the fall of 2014 after Cohen left, the department began three pilot programs to include social media in vetting, but officials say it's still not a widespread policy and a review is underway.
The policy's revelation comes after U.S. officials learned that Tashfeen Malik, one of the San Bernardino shooters, posted a message on Facebook declaring allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; 14 people were killed. 
Civil liberties backlash? Bad public relations? Sneaking a peak at visa applicants' social media whitterings isn't exactly a strip search + anal probe. I know Americans tend to be more concerned about the government snooping into their private affairs than we are over here in Europe - but, by definition, we're talking about foreigners here. But, then, the fish rots from the head down, and Barack Obama has made it perfectly clear that he's far more concerned not to offend non-Americans than with keeping American citizens safe. Besides, as he told us the day before the San Bernardino slaughter, Isil has been "contained."


  1. – What do you think about the Home Office keeping the UK border secure?
    – I think it would be a good idea.

    Anyone developing a taste for politicians grilling public officials on doing their border security job should tune in to at 2:30 on Wednesday 16 December 2015.

    The Public Accounts Committee has invited a number of UK Border Force officers, past and present, and some of their suppliers to discuss a National Audit Office report on our eBorders strategy.

    After 12 years and £830 million, para.23 says, "there are some early signs that the Department is beginning to grip this vital programme".

    Para.1.20 says "the resilience of the warnings index system has improved ... However, in our opinion it is still far from good, with the system suffering from an average of two high-priority incidents a week ... A high-priority incident includes situations where a component of the warnings index system is not available (or performing so slowly as to effectively be unavailable) or 30% or more of border control points are unavailable at a port or airport".

    Rest assured.

  2. The ever - welcoming and unflappable Finns do not worry about Isis :