Edward Snowden recently released new information concerning NSA surveillance. One of the key facts captured by Snowden: only 1 in 10 of those whose conversations are captured by the NSA are actual targets. The other 9 in 10 are not government targets, but their data is captured anyway.
The Post reported on the new Snowden revelations. According to the Post, “many of them were Americans”:
Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.
Another part of the Post article that was especially revealing was the “intimate” nature of the NSA data that Snowden managed to discover:
Many other files, described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained, have a startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality. They tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted are catalogued and recorded nevertheless.
Is the NSA’s mass collection of data on non-targets inappropriate? Or is it necessary to “protect the nation from terrorists?” Feel free to share what you think about Snowden’s latest revelations.
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