Probably the most eye-opening fact of the intelligence leaks is the sheer volume of data that intelligence agencies are willing to collect. This is most famously exemplified by the U.S. bulk data collection and international call recording programs — but for network engineers the more worrying incarnation is “full take” Internet collection devices like TEMPORA. If we restrict our attention purely to the collection of such data — rather than how it’s accessed — it appears that the limiting factors are almost exclusively technical in nature. In other words, the amount of data collected is simply a function of processing power, bandwidth and storage. And this is bad news for our future.
That’s because while meaningful human communication bandwidth (emails, texts, Facebook posts, Snapchats) continues to increase substantially, storage and processing power increase faster. With some filtration, and no ubiquitous encryption, ‘full take’ is increasingly going to be the rule rather than the exception.
Think about the future.