Sunday, November 29, 2015

NSA stops collection of phone metadata; how much difference does this make?; more on the NSL and non-disclosure requirement

The NSA stops collection of phone metadata as of 11:59 PM Nov. 28, but will switch over to much more targeted surveillance, according to many news stories, such as this story by Mark Wilson, here.

 This is all the result of the “USA Freedom Act”  (wiki ).

The Patriot Act had expired June 1, story.

Did phone metadata help ferret out terrorism? The general consensus online is no, not much.    But the inability to break encryption stored wholly within devices seems to have been very relevant to the recent attacks in France.   And right now European surveillance seems much more vigorous than ours.

Update: Dec. 1

Note this story by David Kravets of Ars Technica on a federal judge's ordering the disclosure of a little of a National Security Letter served on an ISP (link). The NSL is odious in that the recipient is not allowed to disclose any of it (like on social media) even though it may be harmful to the party. 

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