ZDNet’s David Gewirtz finally gives us the context that Bart Gellman left out of his bombshell article for The Washington Post:
-The NSA’s selection systems are actually insanely accurate. If you compared all the data they capture to a year’s worth of time, the amount of errors they make amounts to about a quarter of a millisecond.
-The actual byte quantity of erroneous data the NSA records amounts to less than one MP3 track per week.
-If these numbers were reported in a corporate situation, they would be considered an absolute triumph of big data management and implementation.
There’s so much more in the article itself. Needless to say, 2,776 errors amounts to roughly a 0.0000001 percent error rate.
But now the goal posts have moved and Team Greenwald is focused on the number of queries as evidence of massive surveillance. Look, you can’t say 2,776 errors per year is a big number while also saying 240,000,000 queries per year is a big number. If you think 240,000,000 is huge, then 2,776 is minuscule.