I know it isn't hip to recommend James Bamford, but people oughtta read James Bamford.

1) One of the principal reasons foreign governments are antagonistic towards the American surveillance apparatus is that its primary function is corporate espionage. This has been known and stated since the '70s at least. They're not keeping you safe from terrorists; they're keeping Delphi more profitable than Daihatsu.

2) The fundamental American SIGINT approach to intelligence is to find a needle in a haystack by making sure your haystack contains ALL THE HAY. Anyone who has ever actually attempted to find something specific grasps intuitively that the process of elimination is useful while the process of multiplication is counterproductive. On the other hand, gestalt intelligence functions best with a large corpus and gestalt intelligence is only useful against corporations and foreign governments.

3) http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/boston-bombing-anniversary/russia-warned-u-s-about-tsarnaev-spelling-issue-let-him-n60836

    The Russian government warned U.S. authorities that Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a violent radical Islamist more than a year and a half before the April 2013 bombing, but authorities missed multiple chances to detain Tsarnaev when he was traveling to and from Dagestan for terror training, according to a soon-to-be released Congressional report.

    In one instance, according to the report prepared by investigators for the House Homeland Security Committee and copies of documents reviewed by NBC News, Tsarnaev was supposed to be pulled aside for questioning at JFK airport because he was considered potentially armed and dangerous, but he slipped through undetected because someone had misspelled his last name in a security database.

4) http://www.theguardian.com/film/2006/may/11/cannes2006.cannesfilmfestival

    According to his official biography, Richard Kelly is the director of the acclaimed Donnie Darko, the writer of the less acclaimed Domino and a contender for the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes film festival. According to the Department of Homeland Security he is a suspected terrorist who may now be prevented from travelling to Cannes next week.

    Kelly, 31, appears caught in bureaucratic limbo after his passport was reportedly "held under review" by the US government. Sources suggest that the film-maker has been confused with another man, "James Kelly", who is on the terrorist watch list. Kelly's full name is James Richard Kelly.

Now, I'm not saying that an elite surveillance organization that literally uses TYPOS as its defense for fucking up is more interested in big, meaty, financially-lucrative targets than terrorists...

...actually, that's exactly what I'm saying. And when you want to know why it keeps happening, ask not what your country can do for you.

posted by bfv: 1017 days ago