Phony baloney — Database won’t be of much help against al-Qaida.

by J Scott Christianson, Columbia Daily Tribune Columnist.

To believe the National Security Agency’s phone call database is an effective tool in fighting terrorism, you have to make two assumptions: first, that terrorists regularly use the public telephone network to communicate; second, that the NSA can divine what terrorists are doing by browsing through a list of several billion calls made between people living in the United States. Both are shaky assumptions.