Detailed Study Suggests NSA Rarely Useful In Stopping Terrorism

from the but-fear! dept

While we’ve already seen multiple detailed analyses of why the NSA’s bulk collection of email data under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act hasn’t been particularly helpful in stopping any real terrorist attacks on the US, there are still other NSA programs as well. The folks over at the New America Foundation have put out a detailed new report looking at whether any of the NSA’s programs have been effective. The report finds, exactly as everyone else has, that the Section 215 effort was only helpful in finding one guy who sent some money to Somalia. However, more importantly, it also looks at the other big NSA program, the one that comes under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act which includes (among other things) the PRISM program that got a lot of attention. Once again, the evidence of 702’s usefulness is fairly minimal. The report finds that it was used in less than 5% of investigations of people charged with terrorism since 9/11.

The full report looks at all 225 individuals who were either part of Al Qaeda or an associated group and charged with terrorism since 9/11. In looking over every plot they were involved in, you see that much more traditional means of catching terrorists were involved in almost every case. There are community/family tips, informants, other non-NSA intelligence, routine law enforcement, self-disclosed by publicizing his own extremist activity, “suspicious activity” reports… and of course, plots that weren’t actually prevented. There is, to be fair, a large number of plots where the discovery is from “unclear” means — and it’s entirely possible that some of those were discovered under the Section 702 programs. However, at the very least, this calls into question just how valuable either of these key NSA efforts really are.

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Companies: new america foundation

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Comments on “Detailed Study Suggests NSA Rarely Useful In Stopping Terrorism”

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22 Comments
out_of_the_blue says:

Guess posting more interesting links is all I can do to protest this re-hash.

Since this irrelevant Masnicking is all he’s up to.

First, despite Mike’s blithe assurance that the Aereo case would drag on, he’s WRONG yet again:

US Supreme Court to hear media barons versus TV upstart Aereo tout suite

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/13/supreme_court_agrees_to_hear_aereo_case_toot_suite/

And Mike’s support of Google for its no or limited patent stance is turning out betrayed by his precious:

Sniff, sniff, what’s that burning smell? Oh, it’s Google’s patent-filing office working flat out

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/14/google_hits_the_patent_bigtime_reports/

I particularly like the next; nobody in the real world likes weenies cutting in:

Oh those crazy Frenchies! Parisian cabbies smash up Uber-booked rival ride
Votre app am?ricain sale n’a pas ?t? cherch? ici, imb?cile!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/14/french_cabbies_revolt_against_uber/


All the news you saw last week on other sites, re-written to cherry pick points that fit Mike’s agenda.

04:04:20[f-17-2]

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Guess posting more interesting links is all I can do to protest this re-hash.

I was pretty sure the limited patent stance from Google that Mike had was that Google wasn’t using patents offensively. It has been a while so I am not positive though. But, if so, all you have done is supported that claim as Google is using them defensively. Also, why don’t you create you own blog if you don’t care what Mike posts?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Guess posting more interesting links is all I can do to protest this re-hash.

Pragmatic isn’t actually being sexist. He believes Blue to be a specific person actually named Cathy. I don’t know if he’s correct or not (and I don’t really care, it’s irrelevant), but that’s the reason he uses the name.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Guess posting more interesting links is all I can do to protest this re-hash.

I particularly like the next; nobody in the real world likes weenies cutting in:

Oh those crazy Frenchies! Parisian cabbies smash up Uber-booked rival ride
Votre app am?ricain sale n’a pas ?t? cherch? ici, imb?cile!

Are you really cheering the malicious destruction of private property owned by those who simply choose to compete in a previously monopolized business?

This is a new low, even for you, Blue. I guess the moral standards that you attempted to impart on the unwashed masses here are as hypocritical as the rest of your rhetoric.

Mega1987 (profile) says:

numbers.....

I wonder if those guys in the US senate divides the traditional and multiplies the NSA investigation both by 10?

cause most of them pretty much implying that NSA does more than the old-school investigation when going against terrorism… Judging the figures given in this topic.

about stopping the plot? Unless you’re a Seer that can see the future to rewrite it…. then you’re an idiot trying to play fortune teller saying your PREDICTIONS are 100% accurate when a weather forecaster got better accuracy rate than yours.

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