Snowden revealed something that looks more like the Keystone Kops and very little like James Bond... "Big data" really means "dumb data." —Peter Thiel
BTW, I don’t agree with the libertarian description of the NSA as “big brother.” I think Snowden revealed something that looks more like the Keystone Kops and very little like James Bond.
The first thing an intelligence agency should do is counter-intelligence, and the NSA could not even figure out that there was something suspicious about an IT person downloading all those files. And once they knew Snowden had done this, they apparently still couldn’t figure out what all he had taken…
It was inappropriate that the US was tapping Angela Merkel’s cell phone. But I suspect that this was news to Obama as well. And more generally: the NSA has been hoovering up all the data in the world, because it has no clue what it is doing. “Big data” really means “dumb data.”
That sums it up. Recall that the NSA’s attacks are primarily endpoint and infrastructure attacks. The NSA doesn’t have magic keys to crypto. They have exploits for weak implementations and weak IT.