World News/NSA meta data


I don't know if you can answer this but here goes. We are hearing that the NSA has access to meta data (phone numbers and time of telephone call), no names, no content of conversation. Well if that's the case, how do they catch a terrorist if there is no name attached to the phone call? Am I missing something here?


You pose a very good question. It works generally like this:

--NSA collects vast amounts of meta data and stores it.

--law enforcement and intelligence agencies meantime are constantly collecting and collating information on terrorists and their activities.

--these agencies pick up pieces of info on XYZ terrorist plotting an attack.

--FBI, trying to complete the puzzle, asks NSA for call patterns between two specific dates involving a guy in Yemen and his contact in Detroit.

--NSA pulls the meta data, analyzes it turn it over to FBI for further analysis.

--plugging what it finds into the other info it has collected, FBI narrows down who is plotting, what they're planning to attack, how and when.

--FBI acts quickly, with local law enforcement, to foil the plot and arrest the plotters.

Disaster averted. Again.

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James Bruno


Diplomacy and foreign affairs. How government decision-making takes place. Interactions of the White House, State Dept., Pentagon, Congress and CIA in formulating policy. How governments deal with each other. Area expertise includes Afghanistan, Indochina, Europe, Cuba. Served in Guantanamo. Currently a member of the Diplomatic Readiness Reserve and Standby Response Corps.


23-years as a diplomat with the U.S. State Dept. Previously at the Defense Dept. Prior to joining government, worked as a journalist with major news organizations.

CBS-News, UPI; various newspapers. Published novelist: PERMANENT INTERESTS and CHASM.

M.A. - U.S. Naval War College
M.A. - Columbia Univ.
B.A. - George Washington Univ.

Awards and Honors
Various in government.

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