But we’re not quite sure what to do with it
A public policy group says a review of U.S. terrorist arrests shows the government’s collection of bulk phone records does little to prevent terrorism, adding fuel to a debate over whether the spy program should be ended.
The nonprofit New America Foundation, based in Washington, analyzed cases involving 225 people recruited by al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups and charged in the U.S. since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The majority of cases started with traditional techniques, such as use of “informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations,” according to a report today from the group, which has been critical of the NSA spy programs.
“Our investigation found that bulk collection of American phone metadata has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism and only the most marginal of impacts on preventing terrorist-related activity, such as fundraising for a terrorist group,” Peter Bergen, director of the foundation’s national security program, said in a statement.
The National Security Agency’s collection and use of bulk phone records, such as numbers dialed and call durations, is one of several surveillance programs exposed by former government contractor Edward Snowden. The disclosures have prompted calls both domestically and overseas for the U.S. to discontinue or alter the programs.
They collect it because they can.
They intrude upon and ignore our Constitutional rights because they can.
They commit petty acts of tyranny, from closing public access to open-air national monuments to lanes of traffic on bridges and highways, because they can.
They need to be stopped.