EU study finds mass surveillance fails badly

Great counter to the argument that we need mass surveillance. Now, UN also declared it illegal earlier today, so overall, not a good daddy for GCHQ / NSA etc

Electronic mass surveillance – including the mass trawling of both metadata and content by the US National Security Agency – fails drastically in striking the correct balance between security and privacy that American officials and other proponents of surveillance insist they are maintaining.

Our research found that electronic mass surveillance performed poorly in terms of practical usability, ethical grounds, and the protection of privacy rights, whereas traditional (non-technological) surveillance or strictly targeted electronic surveillance might have a chance to strike a “balance.” The novelty in our work is demonstrating this through semi-quantification and numerical scores.

Electronic mass surveillance technologies were assessed in a terrorism prevention scenario in which six different surveillance methods were used to try to detect a terrorist act that was possibly in preparation.

Several of the six surveillance techniques assessed were closely modeled on the basis of what we know about #NSA surveillance from Edward snowden’s revelations and other sources.