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  •  here is something I read that fits in here (18+ / 0-)

    I read yesterday "Der Spiegel" about the whole issue of NSA surveillance, PRISM etc. PRISM Exposed: Data Surveillance with Implication for the World

    I found a couple of paragraphs that I found helpful to further my understanding and that made me believe that this issue IS a big deal.

    'Total Surveillance of Germans is Inappropriate'

    On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed through a spokesman that she plans to discuss the NSA's controversial data surveillance program with President Obama during his visit to Berlin next week. A spokesperson for the German Justice Ministry also said that talks are currently underway with US authorities. The discussions will include implications to Germany and "possible impairment of the rights of German citizens."

    "Total surveillance of all German citizens by the NSA is completely disproportionate," Volker Beck, secretary of the Green Party group in parliament, said on Monday. The party has proposed that the topic be discussed at next week's parliamentary session.

    Mormon Roots, International Reach

    The program's Utah compound is full of security fences, watchdogs and surveillance cameras, as well as biometric identification system equipment. Two informants say the location for the server facility was by no means an accident. Utah is home to the largest number of Mormons in the world. This highly patriotic religious community sends its young members around the world as missionaries -- and many are then recruited by the Utah Army National Guard, whose 300th Military Intelligence Brigade employs 1,600 linguists. The NSA has access to these linguists at all times, and one insider believes they are used in "analyzing international telecommunications."

    In the secret document, the NSA's surveillance program is referred to by the name "Prism." A prism is also the shape that reflects light in fiber optic cables -- the same cables that form the backbone of the world's Internet traffic. The document, which was authored for an internal NSA presentation, shows that even data streams traveling from Europe to Asia, the Pacific region or South America often pass through servers in the US. "A target's phone call, email or chat will take the cheapest path, not the physically most direct path," the document reads.
    The Bush administration legalized this new dimension to government snooping, but it was the Obama administration that renewed the law in question in December 2012. The law permits, for example, the surveillance of all Google users not living in the US, as well as communications between American citizens and people in other countries
    The NSA's data collection powers extend far beyond American Internet servers. The agency also conducts reconnaissance around the globe, for example with satellites. It has also installed high-performance antennae in various countries to pick up mobile phone communications. Never before has a government collected data on such a large scale.
    The NSA is a useful partner for German authorities. The director of the NSA, four-star General Keith Alexander, regularly receives delegations from Germany at his headquarters at Fort Meade. These meetings are generally constructive, in part because the pecking order is clear: The NSA nearly always knows much more, while the Germans act as assistants. Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, conducts various secret operations in tandem with the NSA, most of them concerning large-scale data collection. German authorities have also helped the American security agency with a number of activities, especially in regions in crisis.
    A rare glimpse into what intelligence services can do by applying this "big data" approach came last year from David Petraeus. This new form of data analysis is concerned with discovering "non-obvious relationships," the then freshly minted CIA director explained at a conference. This includes, for example "finding connections between a purchase here, a phone call there, a grainy video, customs and immigration information."

    The goal, according to Petraeus, is for big data to "lead to automated discovery, rather than depending on the right analyst asking the right question." Algorithms pick out connections automatically from the unstructured sea of data they trawl. "The CIA and our intelligence community partners must be able to swim in the ocean of 'Big Data.' Indeed, we must be world class swimmers -- the best, in fact," the CIA director continued.

    It's about rendering people and their behavior predictable The NSA's research projects aim to forecast, on the basis of telephone data and Twitter and Facebook posts, when uprisings, social protests and other events will occur. The agency is also researching new methods of analysis for surveillance videos with the hopes of recognizing conspicuous behavior before an attack is committed.
    Yes, and I may say so, this has very little to do with the holocaust or fascism per se (just to get that thought behind me),  but with the potential fascist features of a technology that is uncontrollable by a democratic voting process.

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