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More NSA Revelations (Schneier on Security)

More NSA Revelations (Schneier on Security):

When I have time to read it, I think Schneier on Security is one of the best security/terrorism blogs out there. He does a great job at explaining security concepts and relative risks. I got the phrase “Security Theater” from him.

Today he is summarizing a new NSA article on surveillance. There’s one thing from the article that I might not actually be mad at the NSA for, depending on the circumstances:

The Russian businessman who is socially active on the web might just become food for Snacks, the acronym-mad agency’s Social Network Analysis Collaboration Knowledge Services, which figures out the personnel hierarchies of organizations from texts.

As long as the agency is 1) only using what has been publicly posted to social networks and 2) doesn’t use social media posts as the sole reason to take action I don’t have a problem with SNACKS. Digging into our private messages and phone calls without probable cause of a crime is wrong. Full stop. But using what we post publicly is fair game. Because it is public.

If there is some guy out there Tweeting how great it would be to blow up the capital and is exchanging C4 handling tips with Facebook friends in his public posts, I’d like to see him get a visit from law enforcement.

On the other hand, if SNACKS is also vacuuming up personal messages when there is no hint from public posts that something is amiss, then it’s just one more rogue NSA program.

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