Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Good Morning, NSA!

This story from the Baltimore Sun:

Md.-based Intelligence Agencies Helped Track Bin Laden
NSA and Bethesda-based Satellite Agency Credited For Their Roles

Contains the following extraordinary piece of information:

Parachini of RAND said the rule of thumb has been that every six hours, NSA collects an amount of information equivalent to the store of knowledge housed at the Library of Congress.

This led old friend and incorrigible rapscallion Blaze Masterson to crunch some numbers:

as of april 2011, the LoC has gathered 235 terabytes of data. that's around 78,330,000 mp3s in six hours. that's nearly 4 million hours of surveillance in six hours. assuming all their targets are being audio-wiretapped throughout that six hours (and that's being conservative), they're doing full-time surveillance on 652k people in the US. That's around 1 in 400 people they're monitoring--and that's only if they're monitoring full time. I'd assuming it's probably more like 1 in 50 people are monitored in one fashion or another (text taken from Internet monitoring takes up a lot less space than mp3s, and people aren't on their wiretapped phones 100% of the time).

Blaze's conclusion?

watch yourself, people

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