NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Not So Powerful If It Has to Be Public

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The National Security Agency is a "supercomputing powerhouse," wrote ProPublica.org in July, with "machines so powerful their speed is measured in thousands of trillions of operations per second" — but apparently it has no ability to bulk-search its own employees' official emails. Thus, ProPublica's Freedom of Information Act demand for a seemingly simple all-hands search was turned down in July, with the NSA informing ProPublica that the best it could do would be to go one-by-one through the emails of each of the agency's 30,000 employees — which would be prohibitively expensive. (ProPublica reported companywide searches are "common" for large corporations, which must respond to judicial subpoenas and provide information for their own internal investigations.)

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