Good question. Here's a good answer ...
by Will Oremus, slate.com -- Sep 4, 2013
The phrase “three hops,” which comes from NSA honcho John Inglis’ testimony to the House Judiciary Committee in July, means that the agency can look at the communications of the person it’s targeting, plus the communications of that person’s contacts (one hop), plus the communications of those people’s contacts (two hops), plus the communications of those people’s contacts (three hops). Each hop widens the net exponentially, so that if the average person has 40 contacts, a single terrorism suspect could theoretically lead to records being collected on 2.5 million people. Take into account that the NSA may have thousands, tens of thousands, or even upwards of 117,000 “active surveillance targets,” and the map turns red in a big hurry. Like, almost entirely red.
To learn more visit: aclu.org/nsa-surveillance
On average, the NSA finds 2,500,000 "suspect" contacts per 1 suspect "target." I guess that's what you call 'the New NSA Math!'
That's a wide, Wide, WIDE Suspect Net ... Don't get caught up in it, if you can ...
And in somewhat related NSA overreach news ...
by Ewen MacAskill in New York, theguardian.com -- Sep 4, 2013
Barack Obama has raised for the first time the prospect of new legislation to limit the powers of the NSA, the US spy agency caught up in controversy over the sweep of its surveillance operations.Ahhh ... ya think?
The president's language was more sympathetic towards the privacy camp than it has been over the past few months. Just because the US intelligence agencies could do something did not meant it should, Obama said, particularly if the US is being too intrusive in looking into the behaviour of other governments.
Technological changes meant the "risks of abuse are greater than they have been in the past", he said.
Just because something can be done -- doesn't mean something SHOULD be done.
It's about time.
To codify that sentiment.