Zeynep Tufekci Feb 03 05:00 (F TIMES)
Europe’s top human rights body, the Council of Europe, put out a report last week blasting governmental mass surveillance, joining a long list of organisations and individuals who have voiced strong moral and political objections to National Security Agency-type blanket surveillance. This latest report, like most such criticisms, misses a key point: despite the common notion that we are trading safety for liberty by letting governments scoop up so much of our data, the truth is that mass surveillance and big data analytics are not the right tool for extremely rare events like acts of terrorism in western societies.
The most common justification given by governments for mass surveillance is that these tools are indispensable for fighting terrorism. The NSA’s ex-director Keith Alexander says big data is “what it’s all about”….