Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Government United States

NSA Metadata Collection Program Has Stopped Zero Attacks 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the raise-your-hand-if-you're-surprised dept.
Antipater writes "According to a member of the White House panel that recently called for the NSA's metadata-collection program to be curtailed, that program has not stopped any terrorist actions at all. This runs counter to the stories we've heard for months, which claimed as many as fifty prevented attacks. 'Stone declined to comment on the accuracy of public statements by U.S. intelligence officials about the telephone collection program, but said that when they referred to successes they seemed to be mixing the results of domestic metadata collection with the intelligence derived from the separate, and less controversial, NSA program, known as 702, to intercept communications overseas.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NSA Metadata Collection Program Has Stopped Zero Attacks

Comments Filter:
  • I doesn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoKaOi (1415755) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:32PM (#45748831)

    No politician that already has any real power is going to want to reign in the NSA. Politicians don't want to take anything like this back. If you're the one who does, and then an attack does happen, then regardless of whether or not it would have been prevented you're pretty much handing the next election to your opponent, who will claim that the attack was your fault because you were too soft.

    If you were a sociopath and cared only about your career rather than doing what's right (as a politician generally is by the time they get elected to an office where they have any real power), would you make a decision at work that had a finite chance of completely ruining your career?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:36PM (#45748855)

    Sorta... the 702 program did catch some (apparently ~50). The 215 program has caught 0. 702 and 215 are the same program just segmented along foreign and domestic lines. The 215 program apparently caught 0 because they actually do not have enough data. As apparently the smaller phone companies were like 'you are going to pay for that right?' The NSA decided not to pay. (hey I read the article :))

    The way I read that was they wanted more money to buy more data. Nevermind all that constitution stuff and right and wrong to do it at all...

  • by DocSavage64109 (799754) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:40PM (#45748877)
    I figure the current NSA is just a result of some capitalists making it rich via contracts to the military-industrial complex [wikipedia.org].
  • by SteveFoerster (136027) <steve@nOspAm.hiresteve.com> on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:42PM (#45748899) Homepage

    Not to be all conspiratorial, but I think it's been a while now since politicians were really in charge of this sort of thing.

  • by SteveFoerster (136027) <steve@nOspAm.hiresteve.com> on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:45PM (#45748933) Homepage

    Tell that to Boeing, who just lost a major deal with Brazil [reuters.com] over this.

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:48PM (#45748957)

    They could have said it did stop an attack but its a secret.

    That's essentially EXACTLY what they said. They claimed several prevented attacks but refused to provide details.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:48PM (#45748959) Homepage Journal
    I'm really curious what other US citizen could directly and provably lie to congress, and not be arrested and indited for it, like J. Clapper?

    Why has he not gotten in trouble legally yet?

  • Red herring is red (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:52PM (#45749003) Journal
    The collection of metadata wasn't supposed to stop attacks. It was supposed to help identify possible terrorists That would allow applying for further surveillance to stop any attack and help identify other terrorists who helped with an attack, especially a suicide attack.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:05PM (#45749103)

    Morons. Really. Both the Captain Kirk wannabees that run the agency and their private sector "partners". Besides Boeing, we now find out that IBM hid a couple of billion in lost business with China stemming from the Snowden leaks from their shareholders. This just underscores for me that the people running things got where they are through a combination of luck and ruthlessness rather than smarts and discipline. Those of us old enough to have lived through the Cold War pretty quickly made the connection between what our government has been up to now and what went on in the police states on the other side of the Iron Curtain (although perhaps not with the same sense of dejavu that Angela Merkel does). That anyone involved in this still has not been impeached or fired is probably an indication of how far gone we are.

  • by rnturn (11092) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:14PM (#45749193)

    It certainly is somewhat surprising that the security community and the State Department didn't foresee something like this happening as a result of the spying. How large their blinders must be to have missed this.

  • Mod parent down. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:16PM (#45749209)

    These programs caught no one. Until full analyses of the cases have been released, by no stretch of the imagination can you say that anyone was "caught." The best that the government "ABC/XYZ" organizations can do is entrap old, stupid people and paranoid schizophrenics whom they give the "bomb material" to. Don't give credit where it is not deserved, shill.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:19PM (#45749231)

    They claimed several prevented attacks but refused to provide details.

    And given the way they publicise the "attacks" that they "stop" which are really just an informant giving fake bombs/weapons to some nut job ... you know they'd be shouting any successes from every rooftop they could get to. They'd be doing the talk show circuit and hosting their own news conferences.

    The first problem is that the kind of "terrorism" that they want to focus on is almost non-existant in the USofA. The real terrorists had one huge success and that's all.

    The second problem is that the real terrorists don't spend time gossipping on the phone with all their terrorist friends. Yes, it is a way to map out a social network. But this isn't Facebook. Sam the suicide does not have to call Bill the bomb every Tuesday at 7 to chat.

    The metadata and phone location are useful for reconstructing the final days and those contacts AFTER an attack. And they don't need years of data for that. Or even months.

  • by phrostie (121428) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:21PM (#45749251)

    so do we still need the new 1.2 billion USD data centers?

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57281931-90/agency-center-changes-data.html.csp [sltrib.com]

  • by the_scoots (1595597) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:23PM (#45749265)

    Not to be all conspiratorial, but I think it's been a while now since politicians were really in charge of this sort of thing.

    Agreed. I would add, I doubt that anyone who's done the things you have to do to get elected at the national level wants to cross the folks that have access to potentially EVERY electronic piece of information generated by them, their family and staff in the last decade plus. Don't think for a minute that if someone like Feinstein got critical of their programs, some shady business dealings of her husband's or his associates wouldn't get laundered to FBI or others.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:39PM (#45749413)

    Shill? All I did was regurgitate the article. You missed the 'apparently'. Which in my terms means maybe they did maybe the didnt. Personally I think they didnt... But it matters not one iota what I think.

    However, you want to treat it emotionally. I want to know what they really did or didnt do. Unfortunately they are a secret org only beholden to a secret committee in congress and a secret court and a secret guy in the employe of the president. So getting any sort of what they did out of them is quite the job. At this point it is a good amount of speculation. With the known things Snowden has said.

    These programs caught no one. Until full analyses of the cases have been released, by no stretch of the imagination can you say that anyone was "caught."
    You and I are on the same page... I however can only go by what each side is saying. One side says they caught 50. You say 0 period. They have now come back and said 'wellll 50 but overseas'. Rightfully your bullshitometer is going off at this point. Mine as well.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:55PM (#45749545)

    Yes. There are nearly 200 countries filled with radios, radars, beacons, phones, networks, and so on that are controlling satellites, armies, air forces, and navies that produce data that gets captured and stored. The NSAs domestic phone record surveillance program is a small program.

  • by mveloso (325617) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:07PM (#45749657)

    Program A was never designed to do B

    Program A was designed to do C, which could help in B

    So by saying that A didn't help B is incorrect. C didn't do B. A helped C as designed.

    This sort of retarded logic is all too common when technical people try and justify their failure.

    The program as a whole hasn't worked. The metadata collection is part of the program, and it may be doing great - but it's value is basically 0, because the program's value is 0.

    Of course we've spent billions of dollars on it with no real return. So there's that. It's kept a bunch of storage companies alive.

  • Wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Friday December 20, 2013 @07:08PM (#45750149) Homepage Journal
    The NSA metadata collection (and related programs, like weakening crypto [reuters.com]) is the attack. The damage done to the country is something that will become even more evident in the next months/years.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

Working...