How Paul Revere could have been outed as a ‘terrorist’
Friday, the president started off his NSA reform speech with a reference to Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty, saying:
At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret surveillance committee borne out of the “The Sons of Liberty” was established in Boston. The group’s members included Paul Revere, and at night they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America’s early Patriots.
But if the British Redcoats had access to the type of metadata and processing power the NSA does today, Revere probably would have been caught before he could go on his legendary midnight ride. In fact, even without cellphones, just by sifting through the memberships of social clubs at the time it would have been possible to use relationships to identify the key people involved in groups like the Sons of Liberty — who surely would have been considered “terrorists” by the British Crown at the time.