The NSA lied to congress. and the datacenter in Utah they are building is designed to store everything. And I mean everything. I ran into an IBM guy in Texas who is saying the NSA is buying tons of storage for that site. In the multiple yottabyte range.
I come from a long line of data analytic innovations, including being an executive at 2 of the largest global big-data companies. I've been watching the hearings on CSPAN and the gov minions are still lying about their data capture scope and data access processes.
Several of the Rats were actually asking more revelatory and technical questions than the GOP members. What came out is that 22 managers in the NSA can approve queries on the full dataset of national / international communications without making a specific request to FISA. Periodically, there are internal NSA spot reviews of queries and summary annual reports are provided to FISA on issues identified from spot reviews. Congress gets a 1/2 page report annually. Wow! The transparency!
This means that all first-order queries are at the discretion of NSA internal approvals. Then, there are 2nd and 3rd order queries based on the output of the initial 1st order query that don't go through FISA. There is literally an exponential growth of identities at the 2nd and 3rd order queries.
This whole data capture and mashup of every source of information on individuals and groups / companies will be made significantly more potent once Obamacare comes on line in full. The first $800 billion "stimulus", before Obamacare, contained $40 billion to implement a national database of electronic medical records. What! Why was that put into a stimulus bill before any legal structure was in place to support such a massive program to capture detailed, very personal information on the entire population of the USA? Viola - along comes Obamacare!
So, FU Cheney, Mr. Globalist New World Order (Bush Sr's words, not mine) useful idiot!