SB-54 : NSA Mass Surveillance: Biggest Big Data Story

Meta S. Brown , Aug 27, 2015 @ 4:10 PM 1,682 views

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When people talk about the US National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA), the talk usually centers on privacy, with good reason. Still, it’s not the only subject worth discussing. The volume of data collected by the NSA and the associated costs make it the ultimate in Big Data case studies. What can it tell us about data and business? What can it tell us about business risk and the potential benefits and consequences of Big Data investments?


The agency’s exact budget is a government secret, but estimates put it around $10 billion per year. Although not all of that is devoted to surveillance, it’s reasonable to conclude that something in the ballpark of $5 billion goes to fund NSA data gathering each year. This may not be the clear-cut biggest Big Data application (Google’s revenue was $66 billion last year, for example), but it’s substantial, focused an NSA whistleblower, William Binney, left, and Jeff Williams, Co-Founder & CTO of Contrast Security, discuss international and domestic surveillance at a private NYC luncheon hosted by the Palo Alto based application security firm. (John O’Boyle/Feature Photo Service for Contrast Security)

The budget is not the only cost of any Big Data program. Data gathering and analysis has an impact on public perception and everyday business practices. Do it wrong, and you could run into a lot of costs you never

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About Raymond Morel (3339 Articles)
Raymond Morel is a member of the Board of Directors at SI and is President of Social-IN3, a cooperative of a researchers’ convinced of the need to address new challenges of today's Information Age, which is slowly and surely modify the entire society.

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