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Data Storage Government Privacy

Can Commercial Storage Services Handle the NSA's Metadata? 67

itwbennett writes "In a review of NSA surveillance last month, President Obama called for a new approach on telephony metadata that will 'establish a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata.' Obama said that a third party holding all the data in a single, consolidated database would be essentially doing what is a government function, and may not increase public confidence that its privacy is being protected. Now, an RFI (request for information) has been posted to get information on U.S. industry's commercially available capabilities, so that the government can investigate alternative approaches."
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Can Commercial Storage Services Handle the NSA's Metadata?

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  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Monday February 10, 2014 @12:55PM (#46210565)

    This is less of a technology problem than a policy question. The technology exists to build secure databases and make it accessible to only one remote client. The real controversy is over collecting the data, and who holds it. Private companies don't want to do it. Many are against the NSA, and by extension the Federal government doing it. If only there was somewhere in the middle, between the Federal government and private industry...

  • by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Monday February 10, 2014 @01:21PM (#46210727)

    OK, so they want to store everything passing across the lines that they deem suspicious,

    No. Not really.
    They really do want to store everything passing across the lines. Period. The "deeming suspicious" part only comes into play once they get a warrant to go look at the data they've already collected and stored.

    The up-side to this idea is that the NSA isn't holding onto the data that they promise they're not looking at without a warrant. That's about it.

    The down-side to this is that we SURE AS SHIT can't trust a third party to not look in the box. This third party is also implicitly alerted to who the NSA is investigating and when. That information alone is itself sensitive and not the sort of thing to be trusted to a third party.

    Of course, you know, I guess I could extrapolate my answer and cut down your sentence even further:

    OK, so they want to store everything

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger