NSA Surveillance Isn’t Really Stopping Terrorism

January 13, 2014 | Andy Cush

A new report from the think tank New America Foundation claims NSA surveillance isn’t nearly as effective at stopping terrorism as the feds would have you believe. The study, titled “Do NSA’s Bulk Surveillance Programs Stop Terrorism?” Of the 225 counterterrorism cases researchers studied, only 7.5 were investigated under evidence obtained by the NSA.

The Agency’s bulk telephone metadata collection is particularly unsuccessful, initiating less than two percent of investigations. “Traditional investigative methods, such as the use of informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations, provided the initial impetus for investigations in the majority of cases, while the contribution of NSA’s bulk surveillance programs to these cases was minimal,” reads the report. “Indeed, the controversial bulk collection of American telephone metadata…appears to have played an identifiable role in initiating, at most, 1.8 percent of these cases.”

(Photo: NSA/Wikimedia Commons)