* Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work [as each other], creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.To deal with the information glut, the government is turning to artificial intelligence for help. AI surveillance has also gone from cyberspace to meatspace: Known projects for sorting through the high volume of video surveillance include the military-developed Mind’s Eye (still in the works) and the privately-developed Trapwire, (already in use here).
* Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year - a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.
….improvements have been overtaken by volume at the ODNI, as the increased flow of intelligence data overwhelms the system's ability to analyze and use it. Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications. The NSA sorts a fraction of those into 70 separate databases. The same problem bedevils every other intelligence agency, none of which have enough analysts and translators for all this work.
the Obama administration is aggressively seeking to block any efforts to have federal courts rule on the constitutionality of this new FISA law. Immediately after its 2008 passage, the ACLU, on behalf of journalists, activists, and writers, sued to invalidate the law on the ground that it violates the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans by subjecting them to warrantless eavesdropping. As they always do in such cases, the Bush and Obama DOJs demanded dismissal of the suit on the ground of “standing”: namely, they asserted the definitively Kafkaesque claim that because the list of Americans who have their conversations intercepted is kept secret, the plaintiffs cannot prove they were eavesdropped on under the law, and thus lack “standing” to challenge it.The widespread use of electronic surveillance couldn’t occur without the assistance of the telecommunications companies. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports:
The undisputed documents show that AT&T installed a fiberoptic splitter at its facility at 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco that makes copies of all emails web browsing and other Internet traffic to and from AT&T customers and provides those copies to the NSA. This copying includes both domestic and international Internet activities of AT&T customers. As one expert observed “this isn’t a wiretap, it’s a country-tap.”The ACLU lists several ways that telecommunications companies stumble over themselves to meet the government’s requests for private information: Copying of existing messages to a separate account, The Voicemail PIN Reset, Voicemail “cloning," etc.
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