NSA: Don't Worry, We Only 'Touch' 1.6% of Global Traffic Daily
In addition to last week's promises by President Obama
to reform and review NSA surveillance practices, the NSA themselves did something unusual: they released a six page document
(pdf, via Ars Technica
) that attempts to justify their activities.
As part of their ongoing effort to assure everyone that the power to spy on everyone, all the time isn't and won't be abused, the document insists that the NSA really doesn't "touch" that much of the globe's data in context. From the document:
According to figures published by a major tech provider, the Internet carries 1,826 Petabytes of information per day. In its foreign intelligence mission, NSA touches about 1.6% of that. However, of the 1.6% of the data, only 0.025% is actually selected for review. The net effect is that NSA analysts look at 0.00004% of the world’s traffic in conducting their mission—that’s less than one part in a million. Put another way, if a standard basketball court represented the global collection would be represented by an area smaller than a dime on that basketball court.
So in short, the NSA wants you to relax, given they only "touch" (whatever arbitrary and shifting definition they'll apply to that word) around three quarters of a terabyte each and every day. Also consider that Netflix and other streaming video programming make up the lion's share of net traffic, and most of the traffic the NSA is interested in (SMS, phone, e-mail) is already a miniscule portion of actual Internet data.
In short, an agency with no credibility offered up some stats that mean pretty much nothing. Feel better yet?
52 comments .. click to read
More like 100% excluding stream/corporate traffic
Notice they said "global" , the US is about 10% of global traffic, take out the Netflix and YouTube traffic ( 50% ) whats left? about 5% of global, so the NSA is "touching" 5/1.6 or 32% of US internet traffic, which is probably closer to 100% when you account for VPN/Encrptyed traffic as corporate data usage is likely beyond the research of the "touch"
That's like saying..
Don't worry, we only raid 1.6% of homes w/out a warrant each day.