According to leaked emails, freedom of information requests at the National Security Agency (NSA) have skyrocketed more than 1,000 percent this year, following revelations from Edward Snowden that detailed the agency’s mass surveillance programs.
MuckRock, which attained the emails relating to freedom of information requests, reports that the NSA received 3,382 requests this year during a three-month period. That’s 1,054 percent more than the same period in 2012, during which the NSA received a mere 293 requests.
The gist is simple: Far, far more people are asking questions of the NSA in the wake of the Snowden leaks, and the increase in requests is not hard to explain. We can now ask better questions, because we know more about the NSA’s activities and what form they take. We can ask about phone metadata programs, the tapping of the core fiber cables that make up the Internet’s spine, and about PRISM and other programs that force data from the servers of public and private companies. A little information here goes a long way, and we have far more than a little information.
Don’t forget, though, that the NSA and the larger U.S. surveillance apparatus has lied, obfuscated, and generally hid behind a smokescreen of supposed patriotism and fear throughout its public examination. So keep the requests and leaks coming. There is probably another XKeyscore coming, and we need to know what it is, and how it works. Then we get to decide if it is legal, and if we want to keep funding it.
Top Image Credit: ttarasiuk