The National Security Agency is creating a new data center in southern Texas that critics say will track the daily activities of all Americans, reports the San Antonio Current.
The 470,000-square-foot data warehouse, formerly a Sony microchip facility and almost as large as the local football stadium, could help the government identify potential terrorist threats.
Yet the lack of oversight of NSA activities has raised civil-rights questions — as has the proximity of a nearby Microsoft facility, which could provide access to the software company’s mass of stored email data.
In particular, activists say that the NSA’s “watch list” of people who may be a threat to national security is not always accurate.
The Current also cites an October report sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security that found data mining to be ineffective for identifying terrorists or potential attacks.
One senior intelligence officer described the entire data-mining system as “a disaster,” claiming that the software was incompatible with other government-intelligence systems, and that the NSA isn’t accountable for the errors that result.
“The panopticon economy”
The Current, December 3, 2008