NSA Monitored 60 Million Phone Calls in Spain & Drowns in Useless Data At Taxpayer’s Expense


Is there anything the NSA is not monitoring?

That’s the question of the day as I note the Financial Times article NSA monitored 60m phone calls in Spain, say media

The US National Security Agency secretly monitored as many as 60m phone calls in Spain in just one month, Spanish media reported on Monday.

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The reports, in the El Mundo daily newspaper, are based on information supplied by Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower. They refer to the period between December 2012 and January 2013, and again highlight the sheer volume of phone traffic monitored and recorded by the NSA. Spain has about 47m inhabitants.

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nsaThe documents also revealed that the surveillance was carried out by one of a network of secret US mobile phone listening stations that extends around the world, with manned posts – often in diplomatic missions – in European cities including Berlin, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan, Paris, Geneva and Madrid.

Ms Merkel is sending intelligence chiefs to Washington to seek answers this week. The White House’s own internal review of the National Security Agency is due to provide Mr Obama with an interim report in the week starting November 11.

Drowning in Useless Data

A friend of mine writes

The NSA is currently drowning in data. The approach of grabbing all transmissions is futile. Computer programs to sort through it are futile as well.

For example, this email will probably be caught in the NSA web, simply because of references to the NSA. Because of my frequent international travel which is undoubtedly logged, this email will make it past another filter. Because of my circle of friends in DC, this email may pass another filter.

Because Mish is likely monitored and because I copied someone who frequently visits China, all three of us are likely monitored.

Finally, given this email passed a number of programmatic filters, a human being might actually be reading the entirety of this conversation.

Hello NSA!

Hello NSA agent … How you doing? Having a good time sorting through useless data, day after day, after day, and wasting taxpayer money in the process?

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