NSA: What IS and NOT Known

You are being watched, recorded and decrypted.  Yes, you truly do have a permanent record.  No, this is not new news.  The more technologies, devices and digital services utilized the greater and easier access the National Security Agency has to everything, everyone, everywhere does, says and writes.  A long known goal of the NSA is to collect and store all phone records of all American citizens, and now the lesser known goal has been revealed to collect all digitally transmitted information from everyone, everywhere.  This is predatory and pervasive, and quashes the natural human right to privacy.

 NSA’s mission is “to gain a decision advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances,” and their vision is for worldwide dominance of cryptology for the value of national security interests.  To encompass this great amount and ever-growing information, NSA is constructing in Utah a one million square-foot building to house its first Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative data center, code-named Bumblehive.   As implied on NSA’s website: , Bumblehive will collect citizen data from website visits, internet searches, phone calls, Skype calls, emails, text messages, credit card information, financial information, legal documents, travel documents and health records, decrypt this data to store, share and match it with criteria for warehousing, surveillance and monitoring, suspicious activity reporting, or terrorist screening.  What has been implied by the recent leaks of information from about 250 of the currently released of the tens of thousands of documents whistleblower Edward Snowden took from the NSA, is that very few have been allowed access to NSA’s full truth. 

 This is the digital age.  Not being joined with the world-wide-web would be, in the socio-economic standards of a modern western lifestyle, synonymous with putting a bag over your head.  For instance: no education, no phone, no cable, no internet, no appearance where there may be a camera – such as stores and gas stations, and no credit or debit card, no bank account, no calling the police in case of victimization, no healthcare.  The implications are long and would be exceedingly difficult, perhaps impossible, to endure and overcome, and function as a thriving citizen.  Therefore, opportunities for abuse of power are wide and broad.

 Assuredly, the U.S.’s NSA is not the only government with its eye to the peephole.   A few other snoopers are the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters; Russia’s program for collecting signals intelligence was in 1997 the most sophisticated in the world, and what current capabilities Russia has are not publicized; and by mid-century China’s intelligence and reconnaissance infrastructure may be the largest in the world. 

 Such are the egregious excesses of these information-gathering and analyzing practices that the United Nations has put forth a German and Brazilian resolution that reaffirms “human right to privacy.”  The resolution says “unlawful or arbitrary” surveillance may “contradict the tenets of a democratic society” and that full compliance with obligations under international human rights law must be ensured.  The U.N. expects an inquiry will ensue on the negative impact of gross surveillance.

 The argument against not gathering everything on everybody everywhere is the valid assumption that some terrorists are very smart and technologically savvy.  The history of attacks aimed at Americans, and the broadcasting of hate and threats to the U.S., questions the wisdom and prudence of scaling back spy efforts for the benefits of protecting privacy.

 What is known is that the NSA seeks worldwide spying dominance.  What is easily surmised is that every country with digital cryptology endeavors to at least have a strong run in, if not to win, the race for dominance in worldwide spying.  What has forever, and always will be, a fact of existence is hate and fear.  What is not known is when and where the next catastrophe stimulated by hate will happen, and if fear of catastrophe is tantamount to loss of privacy and democracy. 

 Joan Brown ~ NEWSslinger.com