After thwarting what might have become a "massive" attack on American installations, German authorities will review ways to fight homegrown terrorists, including a proposal to allow Internet spying on all German converts to Islam.
The more that is learned about the enemies of the Western world, the more adjustments will need to be made. Sometimes, those adjustments will need to be unpopular within the circles of those that fail to understand the gravity of the situation.
I cannot say that I am well-pleased with any country spying on its own citizens. It is certainly not something that the citizens of the United States have been accustomed to, and it's definitely not something that I would normally welcome. You can imagine how a lot of Germans might feel about this:
As shocked as they were by the arrests, the idea of spying on other Germans unnerves many in civil-rights minded Germany, where government surveillance recalls memories of Adolf Hitler.
Being reactive is never preferable to being proactive. In medicine, prevention is always a better course of action than waiting for something to happen, then treating it. Knowing the warning signs of diseases and illness is necessary for reacting. Knowing if one is in a high-risk category for something, gives us a better chance of heading off a serious illness. The same is true of trying to stop diseased elements in society that want to kill innocent people, for a maladaptive cause.
As I think back on the horror that 9/11 brought to the nation and the rest of the free world, I cannot see any other way around it. There is a formidable enemy lurking in the shadows and they must be found, watched, stopped, and if necessary, killed. To do this requires the ability to gather information and observe. When it is clear that the threat is real, it is then imperative to act.
This article I linked to shows that Germany is recognizing the importance of this.