The NSA Has Built A Shadow Social Network With Your Profile On It

data_modelSatirical imaginings of the NSA creating its own online social network are actually a fairly accurate depiction of the reality, Techdirt reports:

The NY Times has an article by James Risen and Laura Poitras detailing how the NSA has basically built its own “shadow” social network in which it tries to create a “social graph” of pretty much everyone that everyone knows, foreign or American, and it all happens (of course) without a warrant.

The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners.

The policy change came in January of 2011, when the NSA was told it could start creating this massive “social graph” on Americans without having to make sure they weren’t Americans any more. Somewhat amazingly, the new report notes that in 2006, the NSA asked the Justice Department for permission to do exactly this sort of thing, and was rejected, saying that a “misuse” of that kind of data “could raise serious concerns.”

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  • Ted Heistman

    Technological systems seek the ultimate efficiency. That’s really what they do. Values are simply barriers to this. Engineers and administrators working with these systems don’t want to be constrained by anything. They are caught up with the spirit of the system they serve. What good would a graph of all known relationships be if you couldn’t put American’s on it? That’s how these things will always be looked it. The only result that could ever be, is complete surveillance. That’s the highest efficiency of the system.

    • Orenthal Jameson

      Hence, fuck the system.

    • PressEnter

      Just another boon doggle government program. The only difference between now and 40 years ago is that now the mountains of useless files are stored in databanks instead of manilla folders moldering in warehouses. If these systems are effective why are so many crimes still unsolved?

      • Ted Heistman

        Well the point is if you piss off the wrong person, those manilla folders are easily retrieved.

        • PressEnter

          That is if they haven’t been lost, misfiled, checked out and never returned etc. I see you don’t have much experience actually dealing with government lackeys and their pathetic work ethic. Even digital storage is subject to errors and loss especially when being transferred between mediums during hardware upgrade. In the real world these systems are no where near as effective as they would like you to believe nor probably ever will be. That doesn’t stop contractors convincing the government to pour your tax dollars down what is essentially a black hole.

          • Juan

            Yeah, I work for the county . . . oi vey, a model of efficiency it ain’t.

        • cacamaaan

          you just got schooled.

    • jnana

      u read Jacques Ellul recently, huh?

  • BuzzCoastin

    The NSA Has Built A Shadow Social Network With Your Profile On It
    correction
    You Have Built A Shadow Social Network With Your Profile On It

  • grummbunger

    what’cha figure they are finding? not code to my programs i hope!!

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