Comments: Black Helicoptor #1 - Is the data theft epidemic more than coincidental?

Try this link for background

It's by a Norwegian academic and gives a brief Bayes theorem analysis of the terrorist threat problem and the feasibility of the use of mass surveillance in order to reduce the threat.

"The US Census shows that there are about 300 million people living in the USA.

Suppose that there are 1,000 terrorists there as well, which is probably a high estimate. The base-rate would be 1 terrorist per 300,000 people. In percentages, that is .00033% which is way less than 1%. Suppose that NSA surveillance has an accuracy rate of .40, which means that 40% of real terrorists in the USA will be identified by NSA's monitoring of everyone's email and phone calls. This is probably a high estimate, considering that terrorists are doing their best to avoid detection. There is no evidence thus far that NSA has been so successful at finding terrorists. And suppose NSA's misidentification rate is .0001, which means that .01% of innocent people will be misidentified as terrorists, at least until they are investigated, detained and interrogated. Note that .01% of the US population is 30,000 people. With these suppositions, then the probability that people are terrorists given that NSA's system of surveillance identifies them as terrorists is only p=0.0132, which is near zero, very far from one. Ergo, NSA's surveillance system is useless for finding terrorists."

He continues with other examples (changing priors etc) and makes a couple of suggestion as to why mass surveillance is being pursued even though everyone (including the NSA) knows that it is ineffective.

Posted by darren at June 19, 2006 07:32 AM

Black copters or no, Wayne certainly took his time investigating the theory.

"Also, I believe I touched base with you on the possibility that the rapidly escalating issue of data theft (large scale) is, in fact, part of a program undertaken by certain intelligence organizations as an 'end around' to resistance towards TIA and the like...and noting that data theft only reared its ugly head with any real regularity shortly after the whiz kids in the Pentagon were stymied in their formalized and public info grab... "


Gleichshaltung is the term related to consolidation of power under the executive, and in the historic Nazi form...aided and abetted by vested business interests. It's not 'black copter' to assume some of the same is being undertaken today, given excess power shift to executive under 9/11 rubric.

Posted by bigmouth at June 22, 2006 08:02 AM


Now, tie consolidation of power by the Executive (PATRIOT), data theft (TIA et al), and asset allocation tracking together (SWIFT).

If the current power group wishes to stave off any competitor (preemptively of course) , the transparency afforded the incumbent group via PATRIOT and DHS financial reporting requirements (under 'terrorism' and 'money laundering' rubric) come in quite handy.

Furthermore, most thieves like to 'close the door behind them' so as not arouse undue suspicion / leave a paper trail...thus the supposed concern with 'money laundering'.

Posted by bigmouth at July 10, 2006 03:29 AM
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