Mar 14

Missing airliner, internet of things and the NSA

the unfolding saga about the missing Malaysian airliner feels like a blend of “Survivor” literature, technology magazine and bad spy novel. This is a great illustration of how the internet of things (in this case the jetliner calling “home” from somewhere on the globe) and real life mesh in a messy way. No agency involved has access to all the telemetry involved, most in the silos of national military agency. Big data solutions could help, but with interfaces buried in diplomatic channels, is unlikely to help.

Or is it? Reading other news, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine that the NSA has the capability to link the threads in a programmatic way. But what if it found out critical cues, and couldn’t mention them without disclosing its capabilities (if there are any undisclosed ones left, that is). Take a page from Sherlock Holmes – send the searches the right way in a carefully targeted vague direction…