I’m sure most of you know about the NSA claiming to be spying on most Americans. This might turn out to be really hilarious. Here’s why:
From what I know of the history of the CIA and NSA, they are largely incompetent in the field of human intelligence. Technical expertise, sure, America has historically been ahead of the Russians or Europeans. But these institutions have always had problems with understanding humans, which is why it was so easy to put moles in the CIA or places like Los Alamos Laboratories.
I know a few people who have worked as intelligence analysts - mid 20 year old fresh out of college kids. What I’ve heard is that the NSA has woefully underdeveloped algorithms for sifting through all the data that they collect.
I think the NSA has all of your data. Everything. Every bit of it, from the
zynga xanga page you made back in high school to the drunk texts you made last week. But people still have to look at it and interpret what it means.
Take all the papers you’ve ever written, all the words you’ve ever said, all the emails you’ve ever typed and put them in a room. Then tell a socially challenged nerd who has never met you to sift through it and determine whats important and what can be a threat. This is the NSA.
What might happen
Imagine you are in charge of obtaining funding for the NSA. You get up in front of congress, talk about how you are collecting all this intelligence, point to lofty data centers and signal splitters. You talk about how you need X billion for yet another data center. Congress nods in agreement to fund a new data center because this stuff is clearly beyond their comprehension. But congress has confidence in you, and your ability to collect intelligence. They have confidence because you’ve spent years, decades, building up an image of omniscient analysis and data collection expertise. Whatever you say you can do, people believe you can do. Such a cult surrounds your institution that people even believe you can do impossible things. It’s an awesome position of power to be in.
Suddenly some shmuck lets the media know that you literally have all the data ever produced, and that cult of awe turns against you. You know that while you have ALL the data, you don’t know how to use it. But the public doesn’t know that. What they understand about the CIA/NSA is what Hollywood has told them through The Bourne Identity and Argo.
You’re stuck now. You either succumb to massive government probes, or reveal that you really don’t know what the fuck you are doing and therefore aren’t actually intruding on normal american lives. On the one hand, you face the wrath of congress eviscerating your funding. On the other, you face the wrath of millions of angry voters influencing congress to eviscerate your funding. You are fucked.
It could be a clusterfuck. I really doubt the NSA is good enough at sifting through 313 million lives to actually be a privacy threat to the average american. Tragedies still strike - the boston bombing, the recent shooting rampage, ricin letters to government officials - these things are still happening. If the NSA has so much info, aren’t these tragedies evidence that they aren’t looking at the info?
LOL wrong, smart people aren’t necessarily contenti-
well played, sir