Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NSA and Conversation “Collection”...

Bruce Schneier points out some speculation that the costs of recording all conversations might not be quite as high as he had previously imagined.  It might actually be possible – especially if (as Schneier speculates) the voice calls are run through at speech-to-text conversion first.

Schneier also points to this post at Rubbing Alcoholic, wherein the NSA may have been caught using an unusual definition of the term “to collect”.  In its ordinary meaning, the way you and I might use it, if we say that “phone calls are being collected”, we'd mean that the calls were being recorded somewhere.  But the NSA appears to be using that term to mean something else altogether: to them, to collect a phone call means to listen to the call that had already been recorded (but not, according to them, collected).

That's a semantic construction worthy of Bill Clinton.

One of the commenters on the Rubbing Alcoholic post summed it up nicely:
God dammit, America

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