Thursday, December 19, 2013

NATIONAL SECURITY - Will NSA Oversight Recommendations Make it Easier For Terrorists?

I suspect the answer it YES.  It will now be much slower tracking suspect terrorist contacts within the US, which increases the risk that we will not be able to stop terrorist's plots.

As a former employee of a company that made the systems that collect metadata, I know that having telephone companies store the data will be very hard.  They do not have the computer capacity.  Metadata is dumped (deleted) after it is polled/transferred to a telephone company's billing computer, AND the metadata polled is only for a number's specific phone company.  What others may be missing is that phone systems do not just collect data for one phone company, they collect data for all phone numbers in an area regardless of who the phone company the caller uses.  That is a local Phone Switching Station may be owned by AT&T but calls from a Verizon, Sprint, or other provider, pass through the Phone Switching Station which is where metadata is gathered.

Also, since metadata ONLY has phone numbers, it is NOT known which telephone company it belongs to.  It is when a phone company polls the metadata looking for it's phone numbers where a telephone company is linked to a phone number.

"Would new NSA oversight recommendations adversely slow down intelligence?" PBS Newshour 12/18/2013


JEFFREY BROWN (Newshour):  The 300-page report recommends scores of changes in how the National Security Agency gathers intelligence.

It urges the massive amount of phone record data collected by the agency be stored by telephone companies themselves or a third party.  It also proposes requiring a court to approve individual searches of phone and Internet records.

At the White House, Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Obama plans no public comment on the findings.

JAY CARNEY, White House Press Secretary:  In January, when the overall internal review is completed, the president will make remarks about the work that he has undertaken and the outcomes of his review.

JEFFREY BROWN:  The outside assessment was ordered after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked secret details about the agency's efforts last summer.

Intelligence officials maintain their data collection operation has thwarted a number of terror attacks.  But opponents argue it goes too far.

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