Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2015

Should Lawmakers Vote to End the National Security Agency’s Bulk Collection of Phone Records?

Yes — absolutely.
Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire on June 1. That provision gives the NSA permission to collect metadata from communications mediums like phone calls. Metadata, in this case, refers to the phone number making the call, the called number, the date and time of a call, and the call’s duration. It does not give the NSA permission to collect any content, such as the actual voices on each end of the call.
From an intelligence perspective, this kind of information is invaluable for finding the needle in the haystack. By drawing phone and email nodal analysis diagrams of suspects (link analysis), intelligence analysts can very quickly find key leaders of terrorist groups. The person using the phone involved in most of the calls, and connecting to the most people, is very likely a key leader in the organization.
So, I get why the NSA wants the capability. However, the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights says:
"The right of the people to be secure in their pe…