How Much Spying Is the NSA Really Doing?

Episode 986 (02:18)

Word broke this week by Greg Greenwald that the NSA was spying on all Americans by combing through all emails, phone conversations, text messages and more, searching for keywords that could lead to terrorism. Some feared that it means the government has a 'back door' to companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and others. Leo says that isn't really what is happening. What is being set up is a secure server with which the Feds can access data in a 'dropbox' fashion that has been provided by court order and by law.

Leo also says that many don't understand what big data analysis can do with as little information as possible. They are looking at frequency of contact and patterns which can easily be yielded by just seeing who's calling who and how often. Leo also says that knowing the facts are important to understand what's really going on. The only ones who can provide facts of the programs are those doing the snooping and they're cloaked in secrecy.

Leo also says that users online need to understand that everything is public, not private, and should be treated as such. We really give away more data on Facebook willingly than the government is gleaning from it's programs. Also, ISPs probably give away more information than Google or Microsoft do.