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View Diary: ACLU Challenges Verizon Order (9 comments)

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  •  They're wasting their time. (1+ / 0-)
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    I've heard many people wrongly claim that a targeted investigation should not require all phone records over a given period of time. That misconception is illogical and betrays a basic lack of understanding of the technology used to examine phone metadata.

    First of all, all phone records within a given time window is necessarily a subset of all phone records held by Verizon or all phone records. Therefore, the claim that all Americans are targeted is untrue.

    Secondly, its quite plausible that an investigation of a small group of individuals would require an analysis of all phone records within a given time interval because the algorithms used to analyze such records would need to recursively index phone numbers within the entire country to zero in on clusters of relevant activity.

    Finally, the ACLU can't claim that it was surveilled unless it knows the government identified the ACLU specifically during the course of an investigation. The fact that records of their phone calls were seized doesn't mean the government knows that they made calls. Unless the NSA identifies an individual or organization by cross referencing their number with other data, the government doesn't know anything about calls you made.

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