When NSA Error Leads to Innocent People’s Deaths

Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras’ new site
The Intercept went live today. In one
of the outlet’s
first stories
, Greenwald and Scahill look at one link between
NSA surveillance and the government’s drone assassination

Garbage in, garbage out.The National Security Agency is using complex
analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human
intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal
drone strikes—an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of
innocent or unidentified people.

According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint
Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the
agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata
analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than
confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the
ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on
the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed
to be using….

One problem, he explains, is that targets are increasingly aware of
the NSA’s reliance on geolocating, and have moved to thwart the
tactic. Some have as many as 16 different SIM cards associated with
their identity within the High Value Target system. Others, unaware
that their mobile phone is being targeted, lend their phone, with
the SIM card in it, to friends, children, spouses and family

“Based on his experience,” Greenwald and Scahill write, “he has
come to believe that the drone program amounts to little more than
death by unreliable metadata.” Read the rest

from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/1fTqZTO

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