Every Six Hours, The NSA Gathers As Much Data As The Library of Congress Has

NSADan Nosowitz writes on Popular Science:

The National Security Agency is, by nature, an extreme example of the e-hoarder. And as the governmental organization responsible for things like, say, gathering intelligence on such Persons of Interest as Osama bin Laden, that impulse makes sense — though once you hear the specifics, it still seems pretty incredible. In a story about the bin Laden mission, the NSA very casually dropped a number: Every six hours, the agency collects as much data as is stored in the entire Library of Congress.

That data includes transcripts of phone calls and in-house discussions, video and audio surveillance, and a massive amount of photography. “The volume of data they’re pulling in is huge,” said John V. Parachini, director of the Intelligence Policy Center at RAND. “One criticism we might make of our [intelligence] community is that we’re collection-obsessed — we pull in everything — and we don’t spend enough time or money to try and understand what do we have and how can we act upon it.”

Read More: Popular Science

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  • Haystack

    The trouble is that when you have that much raw data, it becomes easy to find connections that look extremely incriminating, but are in reality only due to chance. 

    • http://twitter.com/MiGaOh Michael G. O’Hair

      That would be quite a few misdialed numbers or incorrectly queued frequencies. Internals reveal whether or not contact was a random mistake. That is almost never the case.

  • Haystack

    The trouble is that when you have that much raw data, it becomes easy to find connections that look extremely incriminating, but are in reality only due to chance. 

  • http://twitter.com/MiGaOh Michael G. O’Hair

    That would be quite a few misdialed numbers or incorrectly queued frequencies. Internals reveal whether or not contact was a random mistake. That is almost never the case.

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