Security researcher Charlie Miller holds two automobile electronic control module circuit boards while posing in his home-office in Wildwood, Missouri, April 30, 2013. Miller, who previously worked for the National Security Agency (NSA), is a security researcher at Twitter. Picture taken April 30, 2013. To match Special Report USA-CYBERWEAPONS/ / (Photo : REUTERS/Sarah Conard)
Although the recent leak about the U.S. government's controversial surveillance program has caused an outcry, others are raising concern that the real uproar should be over the program's apparent inability to keep us safe despite the fact that it is monitoring millions of Americans.
Last week, a former CIA agent leaked documents revealing that the government's National Security Agency (NSA) has been secretly collecting data on citizens through phone companies like Verizon and AT&T as well as tapping into the Internet servers of major web companies including Google and Facebook.
In an article published on the Daily Beast Thursday, writer Michael Daly notes that although the government justifies its Big Brother spying measures as a method to keep us safe, they aren't really doing a good job, considering the NSA did nothing to prevent the Boston Marathon attack in April.
How could a program with access to our phone records, text messages, tweets, emails and more overlook the Boston bombers who used YouTube videos and repeatedly visited the al Qaeda online magazine "Inspire" to create homemade bombs?
"Even after Russian intelligence asked the FBI to investigate [Tamerlan] Tsarnaev, the huge databases our intelligence services maintain in the name of our national security failed to alert the agents to Tsarnaev's interest in building the pressure cooker bombs he would use to devastating effect at the Boston Marathon," writes Daly.
If FBI agents made a link with the extremist, they could have done more than just have a chat with him. They also would not have needed a multibillion-dollar intelligence program to go on YouTube and see that Tsarnaev had posted a video playlist he labeled "Terrorists."
"Tsarnaev likely only would have been caught if PRISM had done what it is supposed to be doing to justify its mega-infringements into our private lives," states Daly.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich echoed this sentiment also during a recent interview on Fox News in which he questioned not whether the NSA's gathering of Americans' phone data was right or legal, but whether it was effective .
"When you gather all this data, you don't know what you are looking for," said Gingrich said on Sean Hannity's show last week, reports Mediaite. "With all this information, why couldn't they figure out there were two Chechens that had bombs in Boston? Why couldn't they figure out that there was a Pakistani who was creating a car bomb in Times Square?"