Stuff and nonsense: The NSA data mining

Trading liberty for “security.”

It wouldn’t be an American political scandal if there weren’t an element of farce in it.  There is a whole periodic table of farce in this one, so it’s hard to choose, but I guess I pick, as Farce Number One, the inability of U.S. national intelligence to find Edward Snowden after he fled overseas and checked into a Hong Kong hotel.  I’ll let you know if that changes.

I imagine readers have a clear picture of what’s going on with this NSA collection scandal, but let’s clarify one aspect of it.  The phone data collection involves metadata only, at least as far as we have been told; it’s not about collecting the content of phone calls.  The collection of data on emails and other web-brokered information is about content, as well as about metadata.  NSA is collecting content from our online correspondence.

So it is inaccurate to say that NSA isn’t collecting content created by presumed-innocent citizens with First and Fourth Amendment rights.  NSA is doing exactly that.  This form of collection doesn’t Continue reading “Stuff and nonsense: The NSA data mining”