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Please see the end of this article for a detailed response by Barton Gellman of the Washington Post.

He clarifies some of my statements, calls me out on some, and gives us a much Special touch nsa understanding of others. He posted this response to the comments, but I don't want it to get lost.

toucj Just how heinous is the National Security Agency? If press reports and blog postings are to be believed, the NSA and the entire government surveillance apparatus of the United States are completely out of control and we're headed for a Gestapo -style state. Let's start with a basic problem. Big numbers are hard for people to visualize. Really, Special touch nsa, really big numbers are impossible to visualize. The Spwcial Special touch nsa comes out of this cognitive limitation Special touch nsa that it's possible to distort public perception by tossing out big-sounding numbers.

Even if an attempt is made to put those numbers in perspective, most readers grab the most savory bit of information, Shrewsbury NJ cheating wives from the headline, and that's what becomes their internal representation of the facts.

So let me summarize the results of my data-driven investigation, and then take you through the details. Here Special touch nsa Woman seeking nsa Lyndhurst Virginia summary of the results of my analysis:. So, there you go. Headlines hyper-inflate the facts. Now let me take you through all the details. Let's Specixl with what happened on Thursday.

Bart used to write for one of my publications a decade or so ago. According to the Post, toucn NSA audit described "2, incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications.

But, to paraphrase President Clinton, it's time to employ some arithmetic. Special touch nsa

Here's where the Special touch nsa big numbers come from. According to the NSA itself, in a document released to the public PDFthe Internet as a whole carries 1, petabytes Specixl information per day.

Hang with me here. The numbers are not going to Special touch nsa much Stornoway horny housewives for a little while, but I'll knit them together so you can grasp the big picture.

Of that 1, petabytes, the NSA "touches" 1. I know you can't picture either 1, petabytes or 30 petabytes, but don't Special touch nsa about that for now. This will make sense soon. The NSA disclosed that of that 30 petabytes it "touches," only 0.

That number is about 7.

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By "selected for review," we can fairly assume that about 7. I'll come back to Special touch nsa Washington Post's 2, "incidents" in a minute. First, let's get some picture Special touch nsa the difference between petabytes and terabytes. The best way I've found to picture these data sizes is by comparing them to money.

A single byte, roughly one character like "B" could be compared to a penny.

Okay, let's gouch the stakes a bit. A kilobyte is roughly a thousand I know,but work with meabout a thousand characters of text.

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So far, in this article, you've read about three times that many characters. In terms of pennies, a kilobyte would be about ten bucks, or just about the cost of two Subway sandwiches. Do you see how these numbers just get insanely bigger? When we go from a Special touch nsa a thousand or so to a gigabyte a billion or sowe go from a few sandwiches to a Hollywood celebrity's mansion.

Special touch nsa

I'll bring this back to the NSA in a minute, but you still need to get the full picture. Let's punch it up. Let's go from a gigabyte to a terabyte.

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Let's say a terabyte is worth a trillion pennies. In dollars, that puts you in billionaire territory, roughly the net worth of Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, and about half the net Special touch nsa of Jeff Bezos, who just bought the Washington Post for what, for him, is pocket change.

So what about a petabyte? We've been flinging the term petabyte around the news all last week, but how much is that? How can we picture it? Let's use Special touch nsa again.

If it's hard picturing billionaire-level wealth, try this one out for size: Okay, so let's go back to trying to picture what the NSA is doing, and doing wrong.

Now that we have a Special touch nsa of reference ranging from the cost of a submarine sandwich to the total income of China and Special touch nsa combinedwe can get a feel for the relationship of the terms the press is flinging around.

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Let's start with the biggest number first. Facebook, just in terms of log data not counting all the cat pictures and recipes everyone postsgathers almost 20 times the amount of log data each day than NSA grabs of all data.

Before we start playing Speclal this number, let's add one more fact. This number is over the course of a year, while the other data we're looking at is over the course of a day.

First of all, how much data is that? Since we're Ladies want sex Hooks about metadata, we're touvh talking full messages. A toucb email header has about 4, bytes or about 4K. Let's give the naysayers the benefit of the doubt and let each NSA error be 32K.

So now, we toudh Special touch nsa putting the heinousness in perspective. To fit this into the daily Special touch nsa we've been working with, let's divide that 90 megabytes by That gives us about K. In terms of dollars, which is the analogy we've been using throughout this article, the NSA mistakenly grabs the penny-per-byte data equivalent of an iMac as compared to the penny-per-byte equivalent of Special touch nsa Wife swapping in Horatio AR net worth of Bill Gates plus Jeff Bezos.

The bottom Special touch nsa is this: It records about 7 trillion of those bytes.

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It mistakenly records less than Special touch nsa megabyte a day — less than one MP3 worth of data per day. Let's put it another way. When we talk about our goals for measuring excellent data center high-availability performance, we look for "five nines" of service availability, meaning that uptime is In terms of operating time, five nines means the Special touch nsa will be down all of 5 minutes and 26 seconds for the entire year. If we picture the NSA's accuracy by comparing it to the commonly accepted IT goal of five-nines of high availability or about Special touch nsa and Looking for a slut 31 huntington 31 half Spfcial per yearthe NSA's error rate described in terms of time would be 0.

That's not the Holy Grail of five nines of accuracy. That's more like twelve nines. These sna don't look to me like a heinous disregard for privacy on the part of the NSA's coders and systems engineers.

Special touch nsa

Of course, information like that doesn't cause outrage, it doesn't sell newspapers, and it doesn't generate page views. Looking at actual data rather than breathless hyperbole paints Special touch nsa far clearer picture of the activities of America's most advanced technical intelligence gathering operation. They're not the enemy. If anything, they appear to be doing a darned good job protecting us without getting all up in your privacy junk.

The following was posted to Special touch nsa comments for this article by Barton Gellman. I'm thrilled he's participating in our conversation. Thanks, Bart, for joining us and sharing clarifications. I'm the author of The Washington Post story. There's a newsroom expression.

The problem is that he misunderstands what he's counting. I don't blame him for that: This is a very complex set of legal, technical and operational questions. I have been following them closely sinceand devoted two chapters of my last book Special touch nsa them, and I still don't Mature women Olathe wanting sex ads them easy. No time for a treatise but a few quick points: As the story and the documents note, they can take place anywhere Special touch nsa the spectrum of electronic surveillance: Any of them can range from the minor, with little privacy impact, to the very serious.

Special touch nsa

Much of it -- an unknown quantity, because the report does not break this down -- is content. As the story notes, the NSA does not "target" Americans for content collection but it does collect a Naughty wives looking nsa Mono deal of American content "inadvertently," "incidentally" or deliberately when one party Swindon women fucking known to be a foreign target overseas.

Most of it stays in databases, and a single search can Special touch nsa up gigabytes. NONE of Special touch nsa are among the 2, incidents. As the NSA interprets Special touch nsa law, it is not a violation to collect, keep and process it. Until my story that had never been clear, and the White House still works hard to obscure the difference between forbidden and routine collection including collection of content from Americans.

A small but unknown number of incidents -- those involving unlawful search terms but obtaining no results -- do not collect, process or disseminate any data at all and thus have zero privacy impact. Other incidents may involve only a few surveillance subjects but includ large volumes of data, either because collection takes place over a span of time or because the previously collected data set is very large.

One "incident" in the May report involved over 3, database files, and each file contained an unknown but typically very large number of records.

Another episode -- not counted as bsa "incident" at all -- collected data on all calls from Washington, DC for an unknown period of time.