How Was The NSA Able to Do Things Experts Didn’t Think Was Technologically Possible?
The NSA’s massive digital data gathering program has been public knowledge for some time, but experts are still stunned by what the organization has managed to do. According to common wisdom and expert opinion, the NSA shouldn’t be capable of creating many of the patterns it has and learning the information it possesses. It did though, through a combination of cutting edge technology and outside-the-box thinking.
Big Budgets and Secret Powers
The NSA’s biggest weapons in its intelligence wars are the amount of authority it wields over who has to yield up information, and the amount of technology it possesses. Even though the organization has the best networks, and the best technology experts on its staff , that doesn’t mean it should be capable of near-omnipotence. However, there are a couple of important facts that the NSA uses to really beef up its brilliance.
The first is a small loophole in the law which states all standard data, once gathered and reviewed, must be destroyed unless it’s important. This doesn’t apply to encrypted data, which has become wildly popular among Americans who want to keep the government out of their personal affairs. Also, encrypted data such as that found in emails doesn’t hide all parts of the message; it preserves the name and sender IP, as well as the destination and recipient. That can be just as telling as the contents, which can be cracked with time and patience. Knowing who is talking allows the NSA to build a case quickly.
The new film ‘Crow Hill’ that takes a look at these issues is currently funding at Kickstarter.
A live stream event of Edward Snowden on Monday, March 10 at 11:00 addressing SXSW can be viewed here.