Analytics/Big Data

Obama Weighs In on NSA Data Collection

President Obama said Friday that he wants to end the NSA's bulk collection of the phone records of Americans.

"I believe we need a new approach," the president said in a wide-ranging speech Friday on national intelligence, after the revelations of mass meta-data collection by the National Security Agency.

"I am therefore ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 bulk meta-data program as it currently exists, and establish a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk meta-data," the president added.

Questions will now center around what rules going forward govern the government's access to this data from the phone companies. What do you think, readers: Will anything actually change with Obama weighing in?

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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DanJones 1/27/2014 | 3:42:12 PM
Today's non-shocker NSA can grab user data from mobile apps, says NY Times:

DanJones 1/23/2014 | 4:23:24 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data The latest govt review on this is much harder than Obama's suggestions:


sam masud 1/21/2014 | 10:00:53 AM
Re: Big (Brother) Data Perhaps, but government has certain powers that Google does not, such as coming to your home and arresting you, giving you a traffic ticket, examining your your taxes returns, etc. etc...Besides, Google is looking at your data to see if it can make money--not so the government.
mendyk 1/20/2014 | 2:25:16 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data We haven't seen this level of collective paranoia about evil big government since the 1970s. People's lives were ruined in the pre-digital era as well, and if we look beyond our own country we can see that what we're potentially dealing with is a lot less malevolent in comparison.
Liz Greenberg 1/20/2014 | 12:50:59 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data @seven,  I completely agree with you on free services...if you want free email from Google, Microsoft, etc then let it be part of the terms of service.  From Amazon, NO...I am a customer buying things and don't need more creepy ads AFTER I am done.  So we need to make sure everything stays open and available and advertising supports that.  I, of course, block most of the ads and have for years.  When I am ready to buy something, then I search them out on my schedule. As for bandwidth, everybody is already paying for it on both ends so that really does not factor in (UBM pays for it, you pay for it, I pay for it, etc.)
derac7020 1/20/2014 | 12:04:10 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data Comparing government snooping to commercial 'snooping' is more than ridiculous.   Apple/Google/Yahoo/FB and the myriad of other commercial sites may be tracking what I'm searching or 'liking' or posting but who cares.   Its the way our commercial/consumer driven economy works.   The government, on the other hand, can dramatically alter your life with one misconstrued post or search or phone call.   If those black Suburbans roll up to your house you are in big trouble.   Apple/Google, et al can't do that.   So this is way more than 'creepy' is threatening and completely unnecessary.   
Carol Wilson 1/18/2014 | 5:26:21 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data Seven,

Believe me the last thing I would advocate is anything that dampens Internet advertising. 

My point is simply that there is already a ton of digital "spying" on our activity online that happens routinely every day. I see the results of it regularly. 

I don't see the harm in being transparent about that - telling people what is going on. A debate can be had as to whether people should have the right to opt out, and then whether sites such as FB could offer those people a chance to pay for a no-ad version. 

brookseven 1/18/2014 | 11:46:12 AM
Re: Big (Brother) Data So.  We are all here on a board/site that is dedicated to telecom and more recently with a significant wireless content.

What do you think happens if those ads you are complaining about go away?  You do realize that companies spend a BOATLOAD of money to have them served up to searchers/clickers/buyers of similiar items because of the behavior tracking right?

I understand the privacy angle, but I would guess that Internet investment would cut in 1/2 overnight if that goes away.  That is how free sites are paid for (like this one!).  Our fine journalists and hosting and bandwidth here have to have money coming from someplace.


Liz Greenberg 1/17/2014 | 11:31:31 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data I think that everybody should be equally creeped out by all of them.  I am with @Carol when I see instant ads for things after I have either a) searched, b) bought or c) looked at an item.  If that isn't creeping folks out, then why are they worried about the government?
KBode 1/17/2014 | 6:28:42 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data "Probably because the consquences of a govt mistake in reading and analyzing the collected data could potentially be more severe than a private company's mistake."

Not if you pass new laws or provisions further excluding telcos from liability, like they already did when it was revealed AT&T was dumping entire live fiber feed duplicates directly into the lap of the NSA.

Essentially a massive pile of wrongdoing was exposed by Mark Klein, so the government just changed the law to make it all perfectly legal. I see nothing stopping them from doing that again, surely with an added layer of compensation for AT&T, Verizon, and any other massive telecom company that wants to play intelligence pattycake.
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