More on why the NSA spying is Orwellian, intrusive – and won’t work – if indeed the actual reason for it is to catch terrorists and not create a database to be used against political enemies.
Crypto and security expert Bruce Schneier says
Unchecked police and military power is a security threat — just as important a threat as unchecked terrorism. There is no reason to sacrifice the former to obtain the latter, and there are very good reasons not to.
This data as a means to track al Qaeda is too polluted to make any sense. No one I know who wants to discuss something truly confidential does so over the phone. Why think any terrorist would? Evil is not synonymous with stupid.
Unlike use for a terrorist search, where almost everyone picked up is useless to the purpose and a waste of finite resources, all data IS useful if it were collected to compile a political-network database … every hit will fall into one of three categories: friend, foe or apolitcal (or good fish, bad fish, throw-back-in-the-pond-and-check-later fish, in a continuing program, and this program may have really started in late 2000.)
That’s right. It doesn’t work. Instead it provides garbage data which wastes countless hours trying to verify.
John Robb weighs in
IF we knew who the terrorist is, they would be under surveillance and all the calls they made would be tracked. This program is being built because we DON’T know who the terrorist is. It is attempting to tease potential terrorists out of the data on patterns of behavior where no link to a known entity exists. In short: a very harmful boondoggle.
My money is on the cop, trained in counter-terrorism (like NYC and LA is going to), that works the beat.