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Monday, January 13, 2014

Maybe All That NSA Spying Isn't Really Stopping Terrorists

Posted by on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 12:18 PM

The government claims that the NSA's bulk collection and analysis of communications metadata is necessary to fight terrorism. The New America Foundation released a report today that calls bullshit on that claim. From their introduction to the report:

An in-depth analysis of 225 individuals recruited by al-Qaeda or a like-minded group or inspired by al-Qaeda’s ideology, and charged in the United States with an act of terrorism since 9/11, demonstrates that traditional investigative methods, such as the use of informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations, provided the initial impetus for investigations in the majority of cases, while the contribution of NSA’s bulk surveillance programs to these cases was minimal. Indeed, the controversial bulk collection of American telephone metadata, which includes the telephone numbers that originate and receive calls, as well as the time and date of those calls but not their content, under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, appears to have played an identifiable role in initiating, at most, 1.8 percent of these cases. NSA programs involving the surveillance of non-U.S. persons outside of the United States under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act played a role in 4.4 percent of the terrorism cases we examined, and NSA surveillance under an unidentified authority played a role in 1.3 percent of the cases we examined.

Follow the link to read the full report in PDF.

(Via Swampland.)


Comments (4) RSS

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NopeNope 4
Of course they're not really stopping terrorists. There are hardly any terrorists in need of stopping. Even the FBI had to pressure and groom people into terrorism before they can catch them.
Posted by NopeNope on January 14, 2014 at 7:37 AM · Report this
fletc3her 3
At least it's all fantastically expensive.
Posted by fletc3her on January 13, 2014 at 2:28 PM · Report this
@1: What, are you suggesting the it is an update of the Panopticon, so that we are all criminals not knowing when the state is watching us, in order to ensure better behavior???
Posted by Hanoumatoi on January 13, 2014 at 2:05 PM · Report this
No, it's similar to the purpose of Rollerball (the original version in 1975)--to demonstrate the futility of fighting the corporate state--in the USA.
Posted by neo-realist on January 13, 2014 at 12:26 PM · Report this

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