The NSA is mining Big Data (Google, Facebook, et al.) for telephone numbers and IP addresses. Then, NSA super-computers search for patterns of repetition which will enable the NSA to connect the dots. Will this prevent another 9/11? There is no sure answer, but the national security agencies were not searching for either needles or haystacks prior to 9/11. More than two score students were enrolled at several flying schools prior to 9/11/2001; the students all were young men from countries in the Middle East. Even better, they all demanded to learn only how to fly commercial aircraft with no attention to take offs or landings. FBI agent Coleen Rowley attempted to report this strange behavior at a Minnesota flying school. That dot went unconnected. Ditto for similar intelligence reports about Middle Eastern students at an Arizona flying school. Another dot unconnected. All of these would-be "pilots" communicated by telephone and e-mail with each other and with their handlers overseas. More dots unconnected. As for the current NSA surveillance brouhaha is concerned, this is a (fair & balanced) call to the conspiricists: Get A Grip!
Online, no matter what I say
My words will never go away.
In cyberspace they’re there to stay.
For that I thank the NSA. Ω
[Calvin Trillin began his career as a writer for Time magazine. Since July 2, 1990, as a columnist at The Nation, Trillin has written his weekly "Deadline Poet" column: humorous poems about current events. Trillin has written considerably more pieces for The Nation than any other single person. A native of Kansas City, MO, Trillin received his BA from Yale College in 1957. He served in the army, and then joined Time.]
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Copyright © 2013 Sapper's (Fair & Balanced) Rants & Raves