NSA trove shows 9:1 ratio of innocents to suspicious people in "targeted surveillance"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2014/07/06/huge-nsa-surveillance-trove-sh.html

NSA data shows that 90 percent of people surveilled are innocent Americans whom the agency is legally prohibited from spying upon. Cory Doctorow looks at what the NSA means when it says “targeted.”

1 Like

And by “targeted”, we mean that everyone whose data we capture is located on the same planet as a legitimate subject of surveillance.


Isn’t that Frank Zappa in the picture? But he’s dead.

1 Like

Why does the NSA even play these games? Why don’t they just look congress right in the face and say “Fuck you!”


You had me until the Zionist parts.

Edit: Looks like that Jewish conspiracy post I replied to is gone.

[quote=“strangefriendbb, post:3, topic:36424, full:true”]Isn’t that Frank Zappa in the picture? But he’s dead.[/quote]Proof that the NSA works! The Zappa threat has been neutralized!


The problem is, simply repeating the same lie loud enough, with enough of the organs of media on your message, is enough to convince enough of the people most of the time.


Man, not to be too cynical, but can you imagine ANY other job where you could pass with a roughly 10% success rate. You wouldn’t eat at a place that f-ed up your order9 out of 10 times.
Imagine the outrage if garbage men only came once in every 10 week period (when they were scheduled to come weekly).
I’m not even going to make comparisons for surgeons etc…

But hey, “national security” and it’s ok eh?


Why don’t we start calling corruption treason?



Is it and or are? First sentence of the article.

Thanks for continuing to cover this.

NSA data shows that nine out of every ten people surveilled and innocent Americans whom the agency is legally prohibited from spying upon.

Possibly a minor typo in the header - and should be are?

1 Like

That’s not how they measure their success rate though. False positives don’t count against them. It’s as if you ate at a place that brought you nine wrong orders in addition to the correct one; the only problem as far as you were concerned would be if they charged you for all of them, or took nine times as long to deliver what you wanted.

Which the NSA should consider a problem, because all the energy they use on the wrong targets is energy they should be using on the right ones. But it’s not like they’re hurting for funding, so wastefulness isn’t a big issue.

The Washington Post article is definitely worth reading. Especially the part about the Taliban-wannabe who uses Islamic law to justify privacy invasions, caught in the NSA’s trove.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.