Since the end of the cold war, the general public got the impression that the security situation was improved. The truth is opposite. The security threat since that time is every year increased in alarming rates.
Currently the threats are coming especially from Islamic extremists. The 9/11 mega terror attack is the example; the US lost more then 3,000 people during that event. Millions of potential terrorists want to invade the US to perform terror.
In order to counter those potential threats, the US started to use systems (which existed already from 1964!), operated by the NSA, to collect and analyze data from extremists. All threats to the US discovered by the NSA were dealt with at the source or blocked entry or neutralized in other ways.
The NSA discovered that the US was already infiltrated by a certain amount of people with a mindset of a terrorist and/or connected with terror organizations. The need of monitoring the US and its citizens became a requirement.
The increased risks of lone wolves made that requirement even more important. The use of the Internet to influence citizens within the US to become those lone wolves also helps the need of those systems.
Without the NSA, the risk of mega terror will be extremely high, even able to cripple the US with thousands, possible millions of victims. Failure is not an option.
The increase of terror-supporting states like Iran increases the risk to the US security in the magnitude of multiple times. The increase of failed states also increases the security risk. Those terror-supporting and failed states allows additional resources in the hands of Islamic extremists. The unopposed growth of the Islamic State forms a direct threat to the US.
Foreign policies from President Obama doesn’t help the effectiveness of the procedures to take out threats.
How does NSA collect data?
The NSA is using a system with the name ECHELON, build in 1964 and shared with four other nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK), next to the US. This system was originally build to collect data from the former Soviet Union and its satellite states.
Members of the intelligence agencies of the NATO have also access to the system!
ECHELON collects all communications it can find from all over the world, and also from any data store or database it has access to. It stores all that collected data in databases or data stores. The amount of data is so big, that the NSA maintains the biggest data collection on earth with billions of terra bytes of data. If you would start reading and listening and watching all that collected data, it would take you hundreds of thousands of years to finish!
What does NSA do with your data?
Data says nothing. Information though says a lot. Information can be created by data.
The NSA is using pattern recognition to retrieve information and profiling to connect the dots and discover trends, suspicious behavior.
Furthermore, pattern recognition and serial sequence spiders help to tag (label) and categorize the data.
1. American citizen Smits arrives in America as a citizen in 2000.
2. Smits lost a leg in an accident in 2003.
3. Mohammed renamed himself to Smits in Iraq in 1999.
4. Smits bought house of 10 million dollar in NY in 2002.
5. In Mexico, an one legged man bought 100 M16 guns in 2005.
6. A terror organization in Iraq transferred 20 million dollar to a man in NY in 2002 by the name of Mohammed.
The above data stored somewhere in the huge data stores of the NSA without order.
Those six pieces of data came from six different sources and locations .and different years.
ECHELON detects a disturbing piece of information; someone without a leg bought weapons in Mexico (number 5). With the help with data mining, ECHELON searches and build a profile from the man from Iraq. It connects the dots. It found a person with suspicious behavior!
Is your data being collected by NSA?
If you are older then a couple of hours, then yes, absolutely sure. Your birth record is inserted in the huge data stores with all medical records.
Does the NSA know of your existence? You are only a small record between the billions of trillions of records, a billionths part of the smallest part within a huge ocean. Every time you sign an official contract, visit a school, have exams, driver licence, buy a car, get a loan, get a new job, a raise from your boss, marry, divorce, go on vacation to Iran, buy a summer house in Spain and any other official and many times unofficial contract, everything gets inserted into the NSA data stores, unrelated, not connected.
What does the NSA do with your data?
But do only one suspicious thing, like yelling in a phone “… I want to blow up …” while you are in Belgium, the ECHELON system sees that as a possible threat and creates a profile about you. Suddenly they are informed about everything you ever did in your life.
Or you want to work at the CIA. All your data suddenly is associated with your profile.
Any detail, how unimportant it seems, might be suddenly important when combined with other information.
For example you visit hotel X in Barcelona, Spain five times each year. Nothing special. But a known terrorist visits five times a year that same hotel at the same times as you do! That’s suspicious behavior. Profiles are created for you, the terrorist has already one, the hotel and the dates you both visited. In several moments the NSA operatives know everything possible about you, the terrorist, the hotel and the dates and sees what is more connected to the hotels and the dates at or surrounding the hotel.
The data retrieval is almost instantly. Multiple profiles are created. Maybe your aunt rented once a room in the hotel 41 years ago, which has a profile with the NSA, and automatically she has a profile too without her knowledge and permission.
Going to a judge for permission is not possible, because they have the complete profile already!
It becomes more complex and unpractical when one trigger produces 1,000 profiles from American citizens within a second!
When I hear that, I get irritated because of the ignorance and stupidity, or when I’m in the mood, amused.
Go to the Internet and visit Microsoft websites. Preferable buy something with Microsoft. They will know almost everything, like your age, married, children, your age, how much you earn, how many jobs you had, political orientation, religious or not, girlfriends, friends, how you look like, your user names and passwords, your sexual preferences, taste in clothing and which books you like to read and everything also goes to the NSA!
The same for Google and Yahoo and many websites in the Internet, especially the social media.
Your profile data is stored everywhere, the NSA data stores, and the data stores from China and Russia and Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK and probably more countries or agencies.
At the moment you start living, agancies, organizations, authorities start to collect and maintain your data, like your bank, your passport, schools, etc. When you connect with the Internet and become part of communities, your privacy gets raped hundreds of times everywhere over the net.
So please stop complaining about the NSA.
If you are concerned about your privacy, let your parents lock you up and don’t leave. Thanks to your parents, your privacy is already breached.