Current NSA Officials Admit Agency Is Drowning In TOO MUCH Info

The Problem Isn’t Too Little Spying … It’s Too Much

Former top NSA officials have repeatedly said that the NSA is collecting TOO MUCH information on Americans to be able to stop terror attacks.

The Intercept reports that current mid-level NSA officials confirm that the NSA is gathering TOO MUCH information… and it’s making it impossible to focus:

“We in the agency are at risk of a similar, collective paralysis in the face of a dizzying array of choices every single day,” the analyst wrote in 2011. “’Analysis paralysis’ isn’t only a cute rhyme. It’s the term for what happens when you spend so much time analyzing a situation that you ultimately stymie any outcome …. It’s what happens in SIGINT [signals intelligence] when we have access to endless possibilities, but we struggle to prioritize, narrow, and exploit the best ones.”

The document is one of about a dozen in which NSA intelligence experts express concerns usually heard from the agency’s critics: that the U.S. government’s “collect it all” strategy can undermine the effort to fight terrorism. The documents, provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, appear to contradict years of statements from senior officials who have claimed that pervasive surveillance of global communications helps the government identify terrorists before they strike or quickly find them after an attack.

***

The documents suggest that analysts at the NSA have drowned in data since 9/11, making it more difficult for them to find the real threats. The titles of the documents capture their overall message: “Data Is Not Intelligence,” “The Fallacies Behind the Scenes,” “Cognitive Overflow?” “Summit Fever” and “In Praise of Not Knowing.” Other titles include “Dealing With a ‘Tsunami’ of Intercept” and “Overcome by Overload?”

***

[One NSA document], titled “Too Many Choices,” started off in a colorful way but ended with a fairly stark warning: “The SIGINT mission is far too vital to unnecessarily expand the haystacks while we search for the needles. Prioritization is key.”

***

An amusing parable circulated at the NSA a few years ago. Two people go to a farm and purchase a truckload of melons for a dollar each. They then sell the melons along a busy road for the same price, a dollar. As they drive back to the farm for another load, they realize they aren’t making a profit, so one of them suggests, “Do you think we need a bigger truck?”The parable was written by an intelligence analyst in a document dated Jan. 23, 2012 that was titled, “Do We Need a Bigger SIGINT Truck?” It expresses, in a lively fashion, a critique of the agency’s effort to collect what former NSA Director Keith Alexander referred to as “the whole haystack.” The critique goes to the heart of the agency’s drive to gather as much of the world’s communications as possible: because it may not find what it needs in a partial haystack of data, the haystack is expanded as much as possible, on the assumption that more data will eventually yield useful information.

***

The author of a 2011 document … stated, “The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.”

***

Another document, written by an intelligence analyst in 2010, bluntly stated that “we are drowning in information. And yet we know nothing. For sure.”

Indeed, top security experts agree that mass surveillance is ineffective … and actually makes us MORE vulnerable to terrorism.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
This entry was posted in Politics / World News, Science / Technology. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Kat Harwood

    Indeed! As Coleen Rowley (former FBI lawyer whistle-blower) said herself “if you can’t get a sip from a water hose, why turn it into a Tsunami?’ or words to that effect.

    • Tark McCoy

      Why turn it into a tsunami? Because it was never about security, just wanton destruction of our freedoms, in order to make us peasants in their New World Order.

      • nomadfiles

        good point

  • Ryan

    NSA could not see a MILES long ISIS victory parade on a CLEAR, DRY, SUNNY day.

  • Anti Everything

    What is going to happen here is they PTB will decide it does not matter who’s saying what or going here or there. What will matter is that everyone is totally controlled, no cash, no anonymity, all work at assigned jobs and have the proper papers. If not ‘they’ simply shoot us… or something.

  • Paul Jackson

    It was never about finding terrorists, it’s about monitoring the ‘general feeling’ within the population. Now they know we all know whats going on and what’s coming – NWO – expect lots of false flags and new laws and more militarized police force. We have to resist the removal of cash, we would lose so much freedom overnight.

    • Michelle Lee

      If a whole bunch said NO, then they couldn’t do it, the same goes for everything they do, if nobody goes along with it, then, tough shit for them, but too many go along just to get along and one day soon it wont matter if you go along just to get along, you will still be on the short end of the stick!

  • jhnjul

    The good news is they can only process less than one percent of the info coming in. Not easy profiling over 300 million?

  • OldLion

    It is useless to fight terrorism.
    On the other hand, it is very convenient to crush an opponent/dissenter/whistleblower.

    Once you identify such a bad individuals, you’ll then find everything about him and his relatives, and you are bound to find something usable.

    So not everything is lost. Useless against terrorist, great against the averag american.