NSA Mining Phone Records? Well, Duh.

A very thought provoking post that makes some excellent points.

Robert McGrath's Blog

A quick post about this week’s flap about electronic spying.  (Stay tuned for a review of Jaron Lanier’s new book, which is quite interesting in this context, as well.)

First—most of the information is deeply secret, so we really don’t know anything.

Second—the guys holding the secrets are very good at keeping secrets and at manipulating public opinion.  Some “leaks” are deliberate misinformation, the best misinformation is plausible and partly true.

That said, there appears to be an amazing amount of hand-wringing about reports that the US security agencies are routinely obtaining all the phone records from telecom companies.  Some of the reports seem “shocked” that this is happening, despite the fact that it has been happening for many years.  Note that this is legal (under current laws), reported to Congress (per usual mechanisms), and routine.  I.e., the US national security agencies should be assumed to have all phone…

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