Is the NSA Is Overwhelmed with Data?
June 28, 2016
US citizens are worried about their civil liberties being compromised by the National Security Agency. ZDNet reports they might not need to be worried anymore in the article, “NSA Is So Overwhelmed With Data, It’s No Longer Effective, Says Whistleblower.”
William Binney is a former official from the National Security Agency (NSA) with thirty years under his belt. Binney has been a civilian for fifteen years, but he is abhorred with the NSA. He said the NSA is so engorged with data that it has lost its effectiveness and important intelligence is lost in the mess. This is how the terrorists win. Binney also shared that an NSA official could run a query and be overwhelmed with so much data they would not know where to start.
” ‘That’s why they couldn’t stop the Boston bombing, or the Paris shootings, because the data was all there,’ said Binney. Because the agency isn’t carefully and methodically setting its tools up for smart data collection, that leaves analysts to search for a needle in a haystack. ‘The data was all there… the NSA is great at going back over it forensically for years to see what they were doing before that,’ he said. ‘But that doesn’t stop it.’”
The problems are worse across the other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and DEA. Binney left the NSA one month after 9/11 and reported that the NSA uses an intrusive and expensive data collection system. The mantra is “to collect it all”, but it is proving ineffective and expensive. According to Binney, it is also taking away half the Constitution.
Binney’s statements remind me of the old Pokémon games. The catchphrase for the franchise is “gotta catch ‘em all” and it was easy with 150 Pokémon along with a few cheat codes. The games have expanded to over seven hundred monsters to catch, plus the cheat codes have been dismantled making it so overwhelming that the game requires endless hours just to level up one character. The new games are an ineffective way to play, because it takes so long and there is just too much to do. The NSA is suffering from too many Pokémon in the form of data.