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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Unknown Lamer posted about a month ago | from the you're-a-criminal dept.

Privacy 207

onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

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ICREACH? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752513)

I always knew Apple was involved in this.

Re:ICREACH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752687)

haha, that's hilarious! I almost laughed.

this is such shit!

Re:ICREACH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752697)

As an Apple fanboy i Approve with a hearty chuckle.

Re:ICREACH? (1, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | about a month ago | (#47752763)

ICyREACH. I predict it will have a chilling effect on free speech, etc

Re:ICREACH? (5, Insightful)

aralin (107264) | about a month ago | (#47753027)

No, it won't. The US govt. figured out something that the Russians still didn't. Talk is cheap, actions are rare. You can let them talk and talk and talk, you just make up some excuse to arrest or harass the few who act. There won't be so many so you can usually hide it under drug arrests or something else innocent looking. With enough laws on the books, everyone is guilty of something and since you know what everyone is doing, you can arrest pretty much anyone for a legitimate on the books crime. And if you cannot arrest them, maybe their family or friends did something illegal. You can blackmail, bargain, ... That is the power of NSA.

Re:ICREACH? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753105)

You don't seem to understand what a "chilling effect" is.

Simply knowing that your every word and every movement is recorded and available for inspection at any time is extremely chilling. When you constantly have to worry about how your words and actions might be misconstrued, either accidentally or deliberately, then by definition you can't speak freely anymore and you no longer have freedom of association.

Re:ICREACH? (4, Informative)

aralin (107264) | about a month ago | (#47753237)

I lived through it in a socialist state on the other side of the iron curtain, so don't tell me I don't understand it. I've experienced "Chilling Effect" or "auto-censorship" as we used to call it first hand.

But I am telling you that this is not going to happen here, because the government is making extra sure that it doesn't. First amendment violations are simply sacrosanct, because the first amendment is the best tool of population control. There is an extremely powerful lullaby in effect: "We still have free press and if something really bad happened, the government would first have to stomp on the free press. As long as that is there, we are safe."

What I am telling you is that a total population control can be reached without affecting the free speech in any way whatsoever, which is so much worse than any chilling effect.

Re:ICREACH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753357)

James Risen

Re:ICREACH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753387)

I lived through it in a socialist state on the other side of the iron curtain, so don't tell me I don't understand it. I've experienced "Chilling Effect" or "auto-censorship" as we used to call it first hand.

That was just the 1.0 version.
Just because it isn't as heavy-handed and in your face does not make it any less effective.
That was overkill, this is just the right amount.

Re:ICREACH? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about a month ago | (#47753043)

When you hit that page the large graphic makes people believe they've been directed to a potentially malicious site. They need to shrink it a bit so people that follow the link curious about what's happening don't think that they have hit the site itself.

Re:ICREACH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753587)

Should've called it IKREACH.

"Kreacher has been watching..."

Told ya... (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a month ago | (#47752531)

So all that "slippery slope" shit from 10 years ago doesn't seem so stupid now, does it?

Re:Told ya... (4, Insightful)

redeIm (3779401) | about a month ago | (#47752689)

It never seemed stupid to anyone with even a tiny bit of knowledge about history.

Re:Told ya... (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a month ago | (#47752795)

It sure was said to be stupid by a boatload of people on Slashdot when the rest of us tried to say it really was a slippery slope.

I have a feeling a lot of people will be looking back at what many of them call "crazy conspiracy theory" today when some of those things turn out to be real, too.

Of course many of them really are just crazy conspiracy theory. But not all of them. Real conspiracies can exist and have existed throughout history.

But there's another thing that some people don't account for: a lot of people, operating under the same (often but not always) erroneous assumptions or misinformation, can make it look like there is a conspiracy when it's really not conspiracy at all. Just a lot of people making the same mistakes.

Re:Told ya... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753169)

But there's another thing that some people don't account for: a lot of people, operating under the same (often but not always) erroneous assumptions or misinformation, can make it look like there is a conspiracy when it's really not conspiracy at all. Just a lot of people making the same mistakes.

That is a very important fact. These things happen not because of deliberate malevolence - something that only exists in movies and fairy tales - they happen because "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." The people who create these systems are too ignorant of history and human nature, too focused on catching bad guys and take their own righteousness for granted.

There is a famous quotation from Friedrich Nietzsche that goes, "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." It took me many years to fully grasp the depths of that aphorism, but I see it at the heart of everything that is wrong with US government's response to 9/11.

Re:Told ya... (0)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month ago | (#47753265)

Yeah, I got two things to say:
1. The 5th amendment protects the fact that you may have dirty laundry, that in your view is not dirty, but the prevailing public view, it is. Everybody makes mistakes, without exceptions. Well, maybe Mother Theresa. That's like 1 out of 7 billion who never make mistakes.
2. The potential for false information input by those running it. Because centralized power is corrupting - for instance, we change presidents like diapers, for the same reason - they get shitty after a while. It's better to have local communities decide for themselves, than decisions coming from up top. The problem with that is social mobility in the sense of you don't really know who this newcomer is, and the central database can help you find out. It's different if you grew up and lived your whole life in the same village, where everybody knows everybody, and work the same job for 40 years, where everybody knows everybody, and any newcomers are quickly subjected to testing and figured out by the gang. But social mobility does have good sides to it too, but there is something about stable families, stable work environments, and stable villages.

Re:Told ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753337)

Well, maybe Mother Theresa.

Mother Theresa was quite a wicked human being, once you study a bit about her.

Re:Told ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753369)

> Mother Theresa was quite a wicked human being, once you study a bit about her.

If you believe in hindu-style reincarnation, then definitely.
If you believe in the dignity of human life then not so much.

Re:Told ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753385)

In what way? Enquiring minds want to know (but some of us have work soon, and don't have time to look it up because of other tasks).

Re:Told ya... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about a month ago | (#47753655)

Basically, she enjoyed inflicting pain on other people by denying access to painkillers. All while living quite a cushy life herself.

Not much for critical thinking.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753661)

That is a very important fact. These things happen not because of deliberate malevolence

This assumption is just as bad as the idiot claiming it's all because of [satanism|luciferianism|illuminati|masons|jews] etc... Keep writing off as accidental, and I'll keep saying you are total idiot.

I'd surely agree that we don't know motives, because a large part of something being a conspiracy is that the negotiations and motives are maintained in secrecy. Your claim of non-malevolence is just as idiotic as the next persons claim of pure malevolence because you don't know any better than they do, and in true fashion for an idiot you both believe your opinion trumps facts and refuse to look into facts.

Unfortunately for you, your belief is much more dangerous because it implies passivity as a response and removes accountability.

I wish I could claim that you were simply a sock puppet, but the reality is that many people believe the same as you. You can't question bullshit assumptions of X that include the tag line "smart people believe X".

And history dictates (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752803)

you're a fucking tool

Re:Told ya... (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a month ago | (#47752913)

It never seemed stupid to anyone with even a tiny bit of knowledge about history.

Oh come on. I know a guy with that same attitude at work. You're normalizing the situation with this nonsense fantasy that you knew all along. You didn't know all along... you worried about it, you feared for it, but you didn't know Now you do, and you should be surprised... shocked... outraged... But to sit back in your lazyboy, burp, and say "yea, I figured!" is freaking ridiculous. Write you God damned congressman. Get a picket sign. The house is on fire, just because you told the kids not to play with matches doesn't mean you don't need to grab a bucket now.

Re:Told ya... (1)

redeIm (3779401) | about a month ago | (#47752935)

You didn't know all along... you worried about it, you feared for it, but you didn't know Now you do

This isn't the first time the NSA has done something like this. When the Patriot Act came around, and even before that, anyone with a brain knew that they were at least spying on citizens. If you give the government the power to collect all this information on people, that's what it's going to do. Plus, there were news stories long before Snowden that dispelled all doubts. What I did not know was the details of the programs, and that was what information Snowden provided.

Re:Told ya... (1)

redeIm (3779401) | about a month ago | (#47752943)

The existence of the slippery slope was just too obvious. Again, we have all the government abuses throughout history to attest to that.

Re:Told ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753157)

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 what's the next number? Do you know? Have you worked in the MIC? I grew-up in it, served, and went on to do DoD contracting once I got out. Nothing crazy high level classification, run of the mill secret stuff and it has been obvious from the inside for a long, long time. Which is why I got out.

Re:Told ya... (4, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | about a month ago | (#47753373)

Of course no one would guess what the NSA is 'really' up to by providing this database. The NSA are creating another database, who searches what when. They are tracking every search, who did it, how it associates with other searches made by that person over time. Nothing like being able to extort the guys with guns in uniforms or which county mounties to feed to the feds, or which feds to gain control of. Using this NSA database would have to be a seriously dangerous thing, best left to an assigned clerical officer to conduct all the searches prepare a report and thus obfuscate the nature of the individual searches. The database is bait and also a means by which to attempt to legitimate criminal acts, the initial with out warrant invasion of privacy.

Just to remind people what privacy really is all about. Slaves have none, no privacy of person, all of their body was accessible to their master for what ever abuse their master was inclined too, the slave had no right to private property and the slave had no right to private thought or expression. Privacy is all about ceasing to be a slave, a right to privacy of person, privacy of possessions and privacy of thought. The more rights to privacy you lose the more you become a slave. The more they take, the more they will want to take, until you are fully enslaved. That is the real reason to fight for as much privacy as possible to keep the threat of slavery as distant as possible.

Re:Told ya... (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a month ago | (#47753657)

Write you God damned congressman. Get a picket sign. The house is on fire, just because you told the kids not to play with matches doesn't mean you don't need to grab a bucket now.

Grab a bucket and do what? Using your fire/bucket analogy, it's a multi-alarm raging inferno billed as a "fire fighter training exercise" to give them practice should a "real" fire happen in the future. The Congresscritters are the government officials that signed off on the approval to run the training opportunity. There's no amount of writing or picketing that's going to help.

Re:Told ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753577)

"Search" doesn't count if their queries take months. On the other hand, if they somehow managed to put together a system where their search queries are 1 day across that corpus, I may celebrate a legit government achievement.

Re:Told ya... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752715)

You're not wrong. 850 billion records? The Stasi would have wet themselves. It took a lot less for the people of the GDR to storm buildings.

Re:Told ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752955)

...It took a lot less for the people of the GDR to storm buildings.

Yeah, but the GDR people were not busy shopping.

Re:Told ya... (1)

aralin (107264) | about a month ago | (#47752973)

True that, I remember the stores at that time and they were pretty much empty... :)

Re:Told ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753397)

They didn't have it ingrained into them as children that they were the one truly free people on the planet, and anybody who says otherwise is either a commie or just jealous, too.

writs of assistance (2)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about a month ago | (#47752889)

NSA surveillience used by domestic LEOs function as writs of assistance, the traitorous general search warrants expressly forbidden by the Founders and a major cause of the American Revolution. No matter what title they have, some officials need to be tried then shot and/or hanged.

Re:Told ya... (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about a month ago | (#47753133)

I wouldn't call it stupid, but it is a logical fallacy [yourlogicalfallacyis.com] . Given what we knew 10 years ago, it was only logical to point out the fallacy of assuming that everything you said or did was monitored, because there was little/no public evidence of such. That it turned out to be true does not make the past arguments any less fallacious.

Re:Told ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753263)

A slippery slope is most certainly not always a logical fallacy, and it certainly isn't one when you take into account all the instances of government abuse throughout history.

because there was little/no public evidence of such.

Nonsense. Years before Snowden, we had testimonies of people who knew about spying like this. The government's response to 9/11 also made it clear. Those things combined with the fact that the NSA was obviously not above doing things like this [wikipedia.org] made it far more probable than not that the populace was being spied on. Give people massive amounts of power, and they will abuse it; that is an indisputable fact of history.

Re:Told ya... (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a month ago | (#47753451)


So all that "slippery slope" shit from 10 years ago doesn't seem so stupid now, does it?

The biggest lesson learned is that when Congress passes a law, to kill a program like Total Information Awareness, all NSA will do is change code-names and reassign the workers to a different team.

When NSA says "we have not done X in program Y", it means they have done X in program Z. When it says it has not conducted illegal activity under Authority Z, it has done it anyway, under some other contrived interpretation of a different authority.

To quote Robin Koerner on every new NSA disclosure: "Of course they did."

Now then, who thinks we still live in a functional Republic?

Re:Told ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753489)

Too many of those people were willing to shrug off 3000 dead in a recent terrorist attack. So it was hard to take them seriously.

Heads should roll (1)

FoolishBluntman (880780) | about a month ago | (#47752533)

This shows how incredible out of control the CIA is.
I could almost accept that the CIA keeps this data to help with "foreign intelligence" in mind but if this data is available to both the FBI and DEA it is a clear violation of the CIA charter and should result with the director's head on the chopping block.

Re:Heads should roll (2)

Indy1 (99447) | about a month ago | (#47752627)

Wrong agency - CIA and NSA are different agencies with (somewhat) different missions.

That said, the entire NSA, and along with anyone who enabled them, needs to fired / jailed / etc for blatant and unending violations of the Bill of Rights and federal law in general.

They're all the same... (3, Insightful)

Grog6 (85859) | about a month ago | (#47753103)

They are the modern Gestapo; Orwell just missed it by a few years.

The future will be the image from the book:

A Boot, Stamping on a Face, Forever.

Re:Heads should roll (1)

msauve (701917) | about a month ago | (#47752639)

Uh, NSA != CIA.

Re:Heads should roll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752681)

And how incredibly naive the population is, the smartest tech people I know thought I was a tinfoil hat wearer when I described the sort of things that were going on a year before the leak. They still don't seem to care.

Re:Heads should roll (3, Insightful)

redeIm (3779401) | about a month ago | (#47752727)

They're probably utterly ignorant of history, and can't come to simple conclusions on their own. Even someone who is ignorant of history should know that those with massive amounts of power will abuse it.

"Land of the free, home of the brave," huh? Not while most of the population is either apathetic or supports massive violations of the constitution and people's fundamental liberties.

Working backwards from a "known" result (4, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a month ago | (#47752541)

I find it reassuring that there's no danger this can be abused. Ahem.

Our worst fears are now realized.

The Snowden revelations regarding ubiquitous data collection have caused so little civil turmoil that the information is now to be shared with every Sheriff's Department from Bangor to the Bay Area.

Re:Working backwards from a "known" result (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752737)

The media has never been critical of a liberal administration.
they just look the other way.

Re:Working backwards from a "known" result (4, Insightful)

Livius (318358) | about a month ago | (#47752753)

The media has never been critical of a liberal administration.

Because there hasn't been one in living memory.

Re:Working backwards from a "known" result (2)

countach74 (2484150) | about a month ago | (#47753159)

Far too few people know what "liberal" actually means.

Re:Working backwards from a "known" result (1)

msauve (701917) | about a month ago | (#47753585)

Far too many people (at least in the US) think political opinion can only fall into "us" vs. "them."

Americans tend to think that "liberal" means "liberal, as in beer," and not "liberal, as in libre."

Re:Working backwards from a "known" result (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a month ago | (#47752785)

It gets and keeps the funding. Binney: 'The NSA's main motives: power and money' (19.08.2014)
http://www.dw.de/binney-the-ns... [www.dw.de]
"When you do the things that they do - dictionary select, like a Google query, you throw a bunch of words in and get a return. And if you do that for terrorism, you get everything in the haystack that has those words. So now you're buried - by orders of magnitude worse than you used to be. So you don't find them."
.... "Money. It takes a lot of money, you have to build up Bluffdale [the location of the NSA's data storage center, in Utah] to store all the data. If you collect all the data, you've got to store it, you have to hire more people to analyze it, you have to hire more contractors, managers to manage the flow. You have to start a big data initiative. It's an empire."
William Binney https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
Its all about growing the NSA beyond its 1990's position in the US gov. No more just working to provide data to other mil and gov tasks.
The NSA seeks to run its own missions and be seen getting results, more funding and more political access.

Re:Working backwards from a "known" result (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about a month ago | (#47752927)

I find it interesting your choice of cities... you must be North Cal

Re:Working backwards from a "known" result (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a month ago | (#47752971)

Interesting.

No. Vertexan.

From Ethan Allen to the oil field.

Re:Working backwards from a "known" result (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753285)

Bangor is also a place in Maine, broham.

Re:Working backwards from a "known" result (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753037)

Man this is amazing. Does the EFF need any plumbing work done? Or houses painted?

Time for 850 billion FoI requests (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752567)

I want to see every record that they have.

Re:Time for 850 billion FoI requests (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752673)

I want to see every record that they have.

Sorry, National Security exemption.....

Re:Time for 850 billion FoI requests (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752703)

Sorry, no security when all pigs in the nation can read it.

as i've said before.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752575)

If you have voted for a republican or a democrat in the last 30 years or so, this is your fault.

YOU.

The signs were all there, you ignored them, and kept voting the same jokers in, perpetuating the same power structures, letting the same people get away with gross violations of the law that would get any one of us thrown in prison.

Now, welcome to the surveillance state. I hope you're happy with the results. But it gets better. It doesn't end here. We've seen, in other societies, where this goes. It doesn't end well.

But you don't care about that, do you? Because Emmy Awards! Because Jellyfish stung 250 people in one day!

Re:as i've said before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752749)

Minus one already?

You must have struck a nerve.

Two sides of the same coin.

Re:as i've said before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752769)

People would have to reconsider their worldview that "their" party is good and "the other" party is bad.

That's hard. It's easier to mod such views down to -1 and ignore them. Nobody wants to hear that they are partly responsible.

Re:as i've said before.... (1, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | about a month ago | (#47753189)

Do you really think voting for a third party, or refusing to vote, makes any difference?

If nothing you do makes any difference, is it really your fault? There might have been something that would have made a difference, but voting isn't on that list. That became quite clear when they refused to even count the votes for Pat Paulson. (I suspect he would have won, but there's no way to tell.)

Re:as i've said before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753281)

Do you really think voting for a third party, or refusing to vote, makes any difference?

Voting for evil scumbags is certainly not the answer. Voting for third parties or even refusing to vote is better than actively supporting evil, and the former can send a message to the main parties to adopt some third party policies if enough people do it, even if they don't win.

It's a hell of a lot more productive than just supporting evil.

Re:as i've said before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753437)

In New Zealand, during our last election 3 years ago, 52% of the population didn't bother to vote. As a result, we have a National-led government fronted by John Key, voted for by approximately 24% of the population. To their minds, this means they are allowed to do whatever they want, whenever they want.

John Key, who has the worst memory you've ever heard of - he's been compared with Sergeant Schultz - yet all his friends say that he has one of the sharpest minds. He forgets nothing that can be used against you, and everything that can be used against him.

Spin. Everything is spin with this government. Bloody socialists are going to spend up, we're going to get a surplus - but don't ask us about borrowing millions a week just to keep the economy afloat.

No, refusing to vote is not the solution. Unfortunately, if you do vote, you'll likly fall into Arrow's Impossibility Theorem [wikipedia.org] where any state, no matter how many political parties, will become a two-party state.

Request: Do the math, please! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752583)

Every story I've seen like this, for the past couple of years, I always wonder about the cost. I don't work at the large-scale when it comes to IT, so I never know what those sorts of budgets and cost infrastructures ramp up to. Can someone who DOES do that, chime in here?!?

I'm genuinely curious, and interested. What would the math look like on this?

What requirements, from bare metal to user interface, JUST for this system, are we talking about here!
Figure every FBI, DEA and 'above' Federal enforcement/intelligence agency has access. Bandwidth needs for the site in question?
Are we talking multiple locations for the content? Duplicated sites, or more? 1 east coast, mid-America, 1 west coast?
Have to figure the database throughput is pretty high as well, given this is the Government we're talking about here. Why skimp, especially when 'potential terrorists' was put on the line item for the funding.
What about personnel? How many DBA's, front-end programmers, sys-admins and data center monkeys is this gonna take to support?

This can't be small. At least, it doesn't seem like it would be. So what would it really take to put this sort of thing together? I have no question that it's possible, and likely true, I'd just like to know how much money this thing is burning through!

Re:Request: Do the math, please! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752819)

Posting anon (I hope) But I work with data on sort of this scale.
I've got about 1 petabyte of data, 5 billion records, saved for 7 years.
It takes a team of 5 DBAs to keep the database working (patching, reorgs, dumping the 7 year +1 month data, idiot developers causing SQL deadlocks, etc)
About 50 people are required to deal with new feature requests, performance tuning, hardware failures, fuckups, etc,

850 billions records, if they were each 1 byte is 850 gb.
If they were on the size of my records, 170 petabytes. Team size scales pretty well, but I'd bet around 20 DBAs to keep the thing running, about 300 people total.
You could run it in a single data center, but most likely they have two or more to have physical redundancy
(and guaranteed at least one of them thinks russia will nuke both data centers, whether russia thinks so or not).

I'd bet the budget is 1 billion or so, talked about 20 million to run ours. (Salary, benefits, hardware, Accenture, IBM, etc)

Re:Request: Do the math, please! (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about a month ago | (#47752883)

You saw the DEA do it with phone call records.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com] Sept 4 2013
".... to place its employees in drug-fighting units around the country. Those employees sit alongside Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local detectives and supply them with the phone data from as far back as 1987.""
Thats just one tiny project with once set of data.
Water news http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com]
Power news http://www.zerohedge.com/news/... [zerohedge.com]
Thats just for one classic storage site thats in the news a lot.
Re So what would it really take to put this sort of thing together?
"The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control" 11 July 2014
http://www.theguardian.com/com... [theguardian.com]
"At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney – that's a 'totalitarian mentality'"
Should give an average reader an idea of the US internal scale to store, track, index, search, voice print, call to, call from, other numbers, work back from hops surrounding people of interest.
ie well funded, all of the USA, over years, aspects of calls stored for years ready to be found in storage if seen at a protest, near a protest or near a person who was near a person at a protest.
ie you just need a lot of tame Room 641A like access https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Request: Do the math, please! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753179)

guestimate 1 trillion records, perhaps 10kb compressed each (lets say they're long wide records with textual info, etc.), that's 10k terabytes. Imagine a rack holding say 200 drives, each average 5T that's about 10 racks---or about the size of a small sized data center. With some hashing and/or partitioning scheme, the software to search all that in parallel isn't that complicated (or install something like Pivotal on it). Limitations would include non-equality joins.

the actual data center would likely be several times that, since... well, government moneh.

It's not "parallel construction" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752617)

However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

In any legitimate court this is known as perjury. Unfortunately, most US courts look the other way if it is law enforcement or government officials doing the lying.

Re:It's not "parallel construction" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752767)

I thought there was an exemption for "inevitable discovery". Improperly collected evidence can be admissible if it would have been discovered anyway, by other means. Although I think the exemption only covers misdemeanor action, not perjury and so forth.

Re:It's not "parallel construction" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752781)

That's utterly preposterous, and shows how useless our courts are. The means in which they collect evidence is very much relevant. Whether or not they would have collected it otherwise is irrelevant.

Re:It's not "parallel construction" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753333)

"Parallel construction" should be treated as treason.

Who didn't see this coming? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752653)

This is how it always plays out with law enforcement, once the Data is there, it'll get in the hands of everyday officers. Thankful they can be trusted not to abuse the system, because it is rife for abuse.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752829)

Ripe for. Rife with. Now you know.

But, but.. (0)

ShaunC (203807) | about a month ago | (#47752713)

I thought they only collected tiny bits of metadata of little concern to the average citizen, only when foreigners are involved, and that it was only ever used for superduper terrorist investigations. Oh, the local sheriff has access, too? Drug enforcement and all that?

Quelle surprise.

Re:But, but.. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a month ago | (#47752905)

That local Fusion center https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] will help move real world local private/public data up to the federal level :)

Search for me but not for thee (5, Insightful)

jcrb (187104) | about a month ago | (#47752779)

Oh sure they have a wonderful system for searching what they want to search and can't be troubled to search what they should be able to but don't want to..

http://www.judicialwatch.org/p... [judicialwatch.org]
"Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. "

The saying "Laws are for the little people" used to be funny, now, not so much.

Re:Search for me but not for thee (2)

HiThere (15173) | about a month ago | (#47753221)

The saying "Laws are for the little people" used to be funny, now, not so much.

Was only ever funny if you still had your eyes closed. OTOH, it *is* getting worse.

IPFREELY! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752793)

When it comes to subversion, it is more important to watch and monitor those in power, correct?

So, the government should be doing this too all their own damn employees, aka preventing and monitoring people like Snowden and Co.

So, I for one, call for the government Implant Program For Researching Eavesdropping on Employee Logistics for You, IPFREELY will revolutionize government because we the people will know which asswipe and asshole needs to have their butt kicked out of the government and put into prison.

IPFREELY! Give the each government employee a butt implant today! We need to track their asses better than they can track ours!

Those with more power need to be watched even more than those with less power...

Re:IPFREELY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752877)

Prevent corruption and abuse of power using Butt Implants powered by iApple and Google+, aka your phones?... The supreme commander should be bugged 24/7 to prevent illegal abuse of the most powerful office in the world.

haha, you got a Butt Implant!

YOU FAIL IT!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752805)

Parallel BS (5, Insightful)

LessThanObvious (3671949) | about a month ago | (#47752845)

( "Parallel Construction" = Lying = Prosecutorial Malfeasance = A Crime ) It makes my skin crawl knowing that these guys are so out of control that we have an official term for lying to the judge and defense counsel about the source of evidence. If the NSA hears about a delivery of 500 Kilos of drugs and they intercept it, I'm fine with that, but unless the actual source of the information is disclosed it should be a crime to fake the investigation process to get it into court. If they can't prosecute, oh well, seize the drugs and call it a win.

Re:Parallel BS (3, Insightful)

redeIm (3779401) | about a month ago | (#47752873)

If the NSA hears about a delivery of 500 Kilos of drugs and they intercept it, I'm fine with that

I'm not. The NSA should have nothing to do with drugs, and shouldn't be collecting all this 'metadata' on people in the first place.

Don't do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47752897)

This article is just a honeypot for the NSA to add more records to their databases.

oops.

admission of guilt? (3, Interesting)

ebonum (830686) | about a month ago | (#47752949)

The NSA is supposed to only collect information on foreigners. Right? So how could their DB be of any use to domestic law enforcement? Or perhaps I'm a little naive.

Re:admission of guilt? (2)

onproton (3434437) | about a month ago | (#47753173)

There hasn't been much of an "admission" of anything from these agencies, let alone guilt or wrongdoing. The surveillance practices currently employed, as shown by documents leaked by Edward Snowden and others, take a "collect it all" kind of approach in which they assert that they must have the proverbial haystack before they can find the needle. In fact, data on innocents is far more abundant than even the data stored on targeted individuals [washingtonpost.com] , and this includes many, many American citizens.

Re:admission of guilt? (1)

symbolic (11752) | about a month ago | (#47753491)

Why do we accept this argument that they must have and abuse the haystack so that they can find the needle? It was discredited the day that it became known. Now what we have is a completely corruption of our justice system.

Re:admission of guilt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753219)

Anyone in the US that comes in contact with the person then is caught in the surveillance and they admitted that they will collect data on us citizens up to 2-3 jumps away from the original subject so the surveillance spreads like a virus. If the decided to collect data on Kevin Bacon we all would be watch :/

Google-like? (4, Funny)

Walter White (1573805) | about a month ago | (#47753031)

A "Google-like" search engine? Does that mean they are serving ads to the law enforcement agencies that use it?

Re:Google-like? (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a month ago | (#47753191)

A "Google-like" search engine? Does that mean they are serving ads to the law enforcement agencies that use it?

I don't know, but I wonder if they honor DMCA takedown requests....

Re:Google-like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753199)

> A "Google-like" search engine? Does that mean they are serving ads to the law enforcement agencies that use it?

Yes. The companies that benefit from this situation need to keep selling more and more equipment, so every query is implicitly an advertisement for increasing the system's capabilities.

Re:Google-like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753217)

Yup, for surplus military gear.

We The People (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about a month ago | (#47753187)

We The People need to take our government back. Our leaders have failed us, our politicians have failed up. Time for them to be removed and place. The NSA needs to be removed and dismantled in it's current form.

Our government is the terrorist problem, as it refuses to obey the constitution and puts corporations over the people.

I am not saying we need to do this violently, but we have to do this, no matter how it goes down. Our government won't fix itself, it's up to WE THE PEOPLE.

You insensitiVeQ clod! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753231)

BSD's Acclaimed Out of business A dead man walking. OR A PUBLIC CLUB, Serves to reinfOrce and help us! leaving the play GAY NIGGERS FROM project somewhere

First Link in Article Bullshit (1)

retroworks (652802) | about a month ago | (#47753327)

What's with the first link? BS? The second link is about DEA. We all know DEA is chasing marijuana crime because the legislative branch needs to pass better pot sale laws. Do I think the DEA is tracking my political opinions? No. Could they with this software? Yeah. But let's fix the marijuana laws before we freak out and tell the government to stop tracking "crime".

Terrorists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753401)

I thought that the NSA surveillance information was being collected in our War on Terror, Seem that this rational is no longer the case. Now it is the War on Personal Privacy.

And here we go ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month ago | (#47753445)

When they start these things, they say "oh, this will only be used for this, under strict controls and nothing else".

People who say that they'll eventually abuse it are dismissed as ridiculous, but then eventually since they have all of this information they might as well use it for something.

And if they have to lie about how they did it to conceal what they have, so be it. Because, after, they're the good guys, right?

This is a complete and utter undermining of the fourth amendment and the notion that a just government doesn't spy on you "just in case".

The US has been transformed into a police state. Worse, they've helped turn the rest of the world into one too.

Congratulations, America, you've pretty much killed off free societies around the world, and brought in your own special kind of fascism.

Your spy agencies and law enforcement are truly living up to all of the scary imagery people have been decrying for years.

Papers please, comrade. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

name all your kids from now on like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753487)

NSA-dick {insert middle and last name)

then let them search

The New America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753511)

What this really means is that when US Senator X kills prostitute Y and calls Lawyer Z the trail of evidence is clear: X did Y and asked Z to cover it up.

No escape for US Senator X nor US President P.

The hangman's noose closes on their necks.

Welcome to the New America.

Nike Tn pas cher,Chaussure Tn Requin (-1, Offtopic)

senwdcfghkaa (3797717) | about a month ago | (#47753545)

he CLA is the Country Land and Business Association, which allows members to join who own land, businesses or property in the rural areas of England and Wales. The CLA Game Fair allows members and non-members to get together, for an event that focuses on what is important to them as landowners and workers. As an organisation the CLA began in 1907 with the aim of land owners nike tn requin [postfrtn.com] , workers and tenants realising their common interests, and working together to protect their industry. The CLA offers advice, support and is able to answer any questions its members have using their professional advisory team. This year the 54th CLA Game Fair is being held at Belvoir Castle, Lincolnshire from 20th ?22nd July, and it is an exciting and busy time of year for us here at Philip Morris and Son. This will be our 7th time exhibiting at the Show and the preparations have been going on for weeks. The key items we will be exhibiting are jackets from our Musto and Barbour collections: MustoMusto Keepers Jacket The Keepers Jacket is back for Autumn/Winter 2012, and this time with a new fit and fabric to enhance performance. Now made from polyester and polyamide, it uses DWR technology,

Price for business access? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753665)

I and the business I represent would like to purchase access. How much does it cost for those outside the usual intel/insider tading network?

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