The NSA has spent six years and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to kick-start a program, intended to help protect the United States against terrorism, that many experts say was doomed from the start.
I’m a database programmer, and have long been suspicious of the alleged ability of NSA to monitor millions of communications a day in multiple formats, plucking out the relevant (i.e. possible terrorist) information, then presenting it nearly real-time in a way it can be used effectively.
Looks like I was right. Their project to do this has the usual lack of financial controls and is way over budget – someone is getting rich while taxpayers get hosed, but the real problem is that the task is too massive, it simply can’t be done, and those close to the project say it never will.
The best way to get intelligence of course, is to have people on the ground infiltrating groups you want to watch. This NSA project echoes the same mistaken strategem the US used in Vietnam and now Iraq. Watch them, bomb them from the air. Use technology in the sky instead of people on the ground. The belief is, the US can win by using super high tech weapons and monitoring alone.
Meanwhile, al Qaida, I’ve read, passes their truly important messages by messenger, by voice, face-to-face, an Old School technique totally immune from NSA spying.
[tags] NSA [/tags]