The New York Reach-Around

People who watch the surveillance state have known about this stuff since the early 1980s. My personal theory is that spooks talk to each other (as spooks do) and eventually word starts to leak; it’s too clever a scam to miss. Then, when a program becomes huge enough, there are tens of thousands of people using the data from it; it’s pretty easy to figure out where the data is coming from. I first encountered the international reach-around when I was at a conference and wound up talking to an interesting fellow who turned out to be a journalist that had been investigating the surveillance state for a very long time.

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It’s Worse Than You Think: Facial Recognition

Continuation at a tangent to [stderr]

Tools like Palantir are the tip of an iceberg: a gigantic iceberg of data. In case you don’t know, when organizations like the NSA are talking “big data” they are talking “yottabytes.” i.e.:

The Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (1024 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.) [wired]

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