NEWSROOM
Commentary Articles
In The News
News Releases
Experts



Media Inquiries

Kim Cloidt
Director of Marketing & Communications
(510) 632-1366 x116
(202) 725-7722 (cell)
Send Email

Robert Ade
Communications Manager
(510) 632-1366 x114
Send Email


Subscribe



Commentary
Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook

Contribute
Your participation will advance liberty. Join us as an Independent Institute member.



Contact Us
The Independent Institute
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428

510-632-1366 Phone
510-568-6040 Fax
Send us email


Interested in working with us?  Click here for more information.

Commentary

Does the Surveillance and Security State Make Us Safer?


     
 Print 

Yesterday, fellow Forbes contributor Kashmir Hill pointed out that there are giant problems with the NSA’s Utah data center. This is a bad thing, right? Color me unconvinced. I’ll refer you to Glenn Greenwald for in-depth discussion of the legal issues surrounding the NSA’s encroachments on freedom and turn your attention to another, perhaps more practical issue: under what conditions will NSA screening of communications actually work?

For this, we turn to statistics and employ Bayes’ Theorem. In August, we applied Bayes’ Theorem to baseball. Now, let’s apply it to something more serious: catching terrorists.

Suppose the NSA runs your email through a program that is “99% accurate,” meaning that it only makes a mistake one out of every 100 times it runs, and flags you as a potential terrorist. How likely is it that you’re a terrorist?

Read the full article


Art Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, and Assistant Professor of Economics at Samford University.
Full Biography and Recent Publications






Home | About Us | Blogs | Issues | Newsroom | Multimedia | Events | Publications | Centers | Students | Store | Donate

Product Catalog | RSS | Jobs | Course Adoption | Links | Privacy Policy | Site Map
Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook
Copyright 2014 The Independent Institute