"The leaked NSA slide decks offer strong evidence that thousands of innocent people are being labelled as terrorists; what happens after that, we don't know. We don't have the full picture, nor is the NSA likely to fill in the gaps for us. (We repeatedly sought comment from the NSA for this story, but at the time of publishing it had not responded.)
Algorithms increasingly rule our lives. It's a small step from applying SKYNET logic to look for "terrorists" in Pakistan to applying the same logic domestically to look for "drug dealers" or "protesters" or just people who disagree with the state. Killing people "based on metadata," as Hayden said, is easy to ignore when it happens far away in a foreign land. But what happens when SKYNET gets turned on us—assuming it hasn't been already?"