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The NSA’s Game Of Hopscotch

Yesterday, Deputy Director of the NSA Chris Inglis, testified on Capitol Hill and in the midst of the NSA’s standard spiel about “defusing” terrorist plots (both real, imagined and created by the NSA and FBI) a very shocking bit of information was revealed. The number of “hops” between people investigated during a standard terror suspect surveillance. The Atlantic Wire has the full scoop, complete with adequate realistic examples and metrics, so I’ll leave it up to them to explain:

Analysts look “two or three hops” from terror suspects when evaluating terror activity, Inglis revealed. Previously, the limit of how surveillance was extended had been described as two hops. This meant that if the NSA were following a phone metadata or web trail from a terror suspect, it could also look at the calls from the people that suspect has spoken with—one hop. And then, the calls that second person had also spoken with—two hops. Terror suspect to person two to person three. Two hops. And now: A third hop.

Think of it this way. Let’s say the government suspects you are a terrorist and it has access to your Facebook account. If you’re an American citizen, it can’t do that currently (with certain exceptions)—but for the sake of argument. So all of your friends, that’s one hop. Your friends’ friends, whether you know them or not—two hops. Your friends’ friends’ friends, whoever they happen to be, are that third hop. That’s a massive group of people that the NSA apparently considers fair game.

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that just means 100%

even with 2 degrees of seperation, you can effectively spy on everyone.

Because by this rule one doesn't even have to directly name the target a "terrorist suspect." If they wanted to spy on anyone, all they would have to do is pick anyone in the pool of friend's friend's friend to label a "terrorist suspect" and the innocent target becomes free reign.

Connections can be invented on-the-fly

Read - that means all of you reading this.

Hoppedy Hop Hop hop what's

Hoppedy Hop Hop hop

what's amazing is that noone is questioning their ability to do this. Does anyone trust that this wouldn't be abused??? It's like if they say we don't/wont stalk you everyone is ok with it.

Update on the original article...

Update, 1:10 p.m.: Another bit of news. The longstanding question of whether or not phone metadata collected by NSA includes geolocation data has been answered. "We are not collecting that data," Inglis said, "under this program."

[emphasis added]

Six "hops" and ....

...they'll be monitoring Kevin Bacon, Barack Obama and Heidi Klum, as well as your grandma.

Oh wait, they're recording and getting metadata on EVERYBODY ALREADY.

"Hops", my *ss.

Their new datacenter in terms of yottabytes and petaflops will have the capacity to capture and analyze every party to party set of metadata information from every single person for every single transaction on the entire planet.

Did you expect less from Sauron/Baphomet, pretender to the throne of the World?

robot999's picture

Six Degrees!

The truth is that they probably to go 6 hops - hence everyone!

"Government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex". - Frank Zappa

Im getting the feeling there

Im getting the feeling there never were any "hops"

"What should we say"

"that you only view potential targets in the imediate suspects range.....i dont know, lets say, 2 or three hops"

"???"......"hops......whats that?"

It's always fun

Reading about all these "in house secret rules" , that are surely violated routinely as well.

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