The experts (such as Bruce Schneier) have been saying this for years, the NSA leadership and politicians have been deying it for years – hence it cannot hurt to remind of it here and there. Alas; quoting from the SANS Security newsletter:
–Study Finds NSA Phone Metadata Collection Not An Effective Tool
(January 12 & 13, 2014)
A study from the New America Foundation finds that the NSA’s bulk collection of phone metadata “has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism.” The NAF analyzed the cases of “225 individuals … charged in the United States with an act of terrorism since 9/11.” In the majority of instances, conventional investigative methods provided the impetus to open the case. The study found that just one case had been initiated due to information obtained through the wholesale data collection.
[Editor’s Note (Pescatore): Of course, after the next terrorist attack there will be equal and opposite studies from numerous foundations about the failure to collect the right information to have detected the attack in its preparation phase.]
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The comment by Mr. Pescatore is interesting – I am not sure where he is going with this: just because it is _not_ possible to prevent each and every attack the end justifies the means?