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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.'"
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NSA Metadata Collection Program Has Stopped Zero Attacks

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  • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:41PM (#45748885) Homepage
    Let's take them at their word and say that they did manage to stop 50 attacks. So that works out to about 4 attacks per year for the past 12 years. I will even give them the benefit that every attack would have killed as many people as the 9/11 attack. So that would give us somewhere around 13,000 people per year that would have been killed by these attacks. So without their violation of our rights terrorism would rank behind drug abuse [wikipedia.org] and we don't seem to care that much about drug abuse. Even if all 50 attacks happened this year and each one killed ~3000 people the body count would only be 150,000 and terrorism would come in at #2 between being a fat ass and being a smoker.

    Now in reality the number of attacks is probably much lower than the 50 they claim, and I would be willing to bet that at most a few dozen people would be killed in the most devastating of these attacks. So as others have pointed out before why are we wasting so much money and violating everyone's rights for something that is little more than a statistical anomaly.
  • Re:I doesn't matter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bonehead (6382) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:07PM (#45749661)

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but I find it interesting that so many are willing to sacrifice MY freedom in the interests of THEIR (illusion of) safety, then the safest (real safety) place I can think of would probably be an isolation cell inside a SuperMax prison. Barring any suicidal tendencies, you'd be pretty damn safe sitting in one of those rooms.

    Maybe we just need to divert some tax dollars to building "safe facilities" for the cowards who think they need to be protected from all of the dangers their imaginations cook up.

  • RSA is complicit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:16PM (#45749741) Homepage Journal

    Wait 'til you hear the one about RSA taking $10million from the NSA to promote vulnerable security.

    This is much much worse than many of us will admit. Despite all the other problems we face, this is the one that has to be tackled first. If we can't bring the out-of-control surveillance state to heel, nothing else can ever get really better.

    And don't buy for a second the Obama Administration's press release about their "reforms" of NSA data collection. They're just trying to head off the serious challenges that are about to start coming down from the courts and from congress.

    For a minute, I think we're going to have to put partisan politics aside to tackle this common threat: government surveillance.

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