US drones could be killing the wrong people because of metadata errors

The Intercept, the "fearless, adversarial journalism" venture launched by Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media, launched with a big boom today.

Lead story on the site right now, which is https by default (and straining under launch day load at the moment) explores "The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program."

The Intercept will initially focus on NSA stories based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, and this is one such story.

"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes," Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald report, "An unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people."

As Redditor actual_hacker said in a thread, the big point of this article: "The US has built a SIM-card kill list. They're shooting missiles at cell phones without caring about who is holding the phone. That is why so many innocent people keep getting killed. That is what this story is about. The next time someone says "it's just metadata," remember this story. Innocent people die because of NSA's use of metadata: the story cites 14 women and 21 children killed in just one operation. All because of metadata."

Like the NSA, you can follow the journalists at The Intercept on Twitter, via this handy list.