Latest posts by Alvin Bryan (see all)
- Millionaire Tyupkin Malware ATM Hackers May Come to US, India After Hitting Europe - October 23, 2014
- BitLicense Will Allow Bitcoin Spying in New York - October 22, 2014
- Australians are Fighting Data Retention Laws - October 22, 2014
Transparency reporting has received a good response from consumers. Now NSA transparency reporting has begun as well. But this first ever NSA transparency report dodges the real issues. It is more of a report to prove its rights and not how it is protecting ours.
First NSA Transparency Report
Transparency reporting is meant to show consumers how much of their data has been requested by the government. But this online NSA transparency report shows first under what authority they have taken data. Then it shows small numbers of requests made in line with those authorities. However, the real issues are not about what laws the NSA has used to back up data requests. They are about how many people have been affected, and what the NSA is not saying about them. There are too many caveats, most of them hidden, for this NSA transparency report to provide any comfort.
The NSA transparency report was ordered by President Obama and released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It was meant to settle questions raised after Snowden leaked secret NSA documents. But the report raises even more questions. The numbers are too small, for one. This indicates that the majority of the searches are still being kept secret. And there is not enough to show us that the NSA is really using their powers to protect us from terror attacks. This has been their explanation since Snowden leaked documents about their illicit activities. Yet, they have not supported this.
The official NSA transparency report reveals that over 90,000 foreigners were targeted in 2013. This is what the total number of targets equals. This therefore seems to deny the many other searches that the Snowden documents indicate were being done. These 90,000 targets could be individuals or groups, or even whole countries. So it does not show us any real numbers on how many consumers are affected. And it does not show how many Americans were affected by having communications with these targets. What we can gather from the NSA transparency report is that FISA grants them enormous powers.
The report does reveal that there were 248 persons either living in or citizens of the United States who were affected by the requests. The NSA transparency report explains this as those whose data was scooped up by their phone dragnet. This made the data that was kept by telecoms part of NSA queries. Again, this is a very small number. And again, the word means not only individual people but companies or corporations. It does not in any way explain how many individual targets there really are. And with the 3 hops policy, this number does not make sense at all. If there really were just a few Americans involved in NSA requests, the bulk data collection system would have been completely unnecessary. The NSA transparency report also does not respond to the question of backdoor searches or