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Metadata Reveals the Secrets of Social Position, Company Hierarchy, Terrorist Cells Washington Post (06/16/13) Ellen Nakashima

如何從最近美國NSA收集大量個人電話、電子郵件、與social network的metadata記錄,這一篇報導可以看出一些端倪!

Metadata can be tapped to uncover vital details about people, their whereabouts, and their connections with others to such a degree that entities such as the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) are exploiting it extensively. “When you can get it all in one place and analyze the patterns, you can learn an enormous amount about the behavior of people,” says researcher Daniel J. Weitzner at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. U.S. officials recently acknowledged that for the past seven years NSA has been compiling a metadata database on the phone call records of a vast number of U.S. customers. The American Civil Liberty Union's Christopher Soghoian notes that data about a communication, and not just its content, can provide important clues. In fact, Weitzner says metadata arguably reveals more information because analysis of its patterns and their correlation with real-world events is much easier than semantically analyzing a person's email and phone calls. Moreover, U.S. law makes it easier for the government to acquire metadata than content, allowing law enforcement to seize phone records, but not email metadata, without a court order.


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