In NSA-Intercepted Data, Those Not Targeted Far Outnumber the Foreigners Who Are

We basically all assumed this right? I did. What’s most damning about this report is two fold:

  1. It shows the NSA either lied (by omission, or directly) about knowing that Snowden did have access to this data, and did take it.
  2. This also shows that the NSA weasels its way around the law whenever and wherever it can.

This is a tough spot to comment on this. The NSA’s job is foreign intelligence, and it seems fair game to gobble up transmissions from US citizens that correspond with foreign targets. Or, put another way, we would all be rooting for Chloe and Jack to hack into servers and analyze this data to stop a terrorist plot on 24.

What strikes me as the most troubling aspect is that for most of these, there is no real urgency to the intelligence. It’s one thing (in my mind) to aggressively bend, or break, laws if there is an assumed imminent terrorist attack. It’s a completely different thing if it is just routine preventative measures.

So to me, I’m fine with going all wild west if we know something big is about to go down and we are aggressively trying to stop that, but I am not fine with aggressive tactics as a matter of course.

Where that line is drawn, and by whom, is the impossible part of all this.