Not My NSA: Big Brother Is For the Benefit of The State and Big Business


The big, scary terrorism argument for having an unwieldy and unconstitutional NSA surveillance apparatus has been slowly disintegrating since the start of Snowden’s leaks. This week was really the death knell, with all three branches of government agreeing, at least, that the bulk metadata program doesn’t actually thwart terrorists.

The Washington Post:

From the moment the government’s massive database of citizens’ call records was exposed this year, U.S. officials have clung to two main lines of defense: The secret surveillance program was constitutional and critical to keeping the nation safe.

But six months into the controversy triggered by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the viability of those claims is no longer clear.

In a three-day span, those rationales were upended by a federal judge who declared that the program was probably unconstitutional and the release of a report by a White House panel utterly unconvinced that stockpiling such data had played any meaningful role in preventing terrorist attacks.

But there is more evidence that the terrorism justification for these programs is bullshit. Today the New York Times reports that “Secret documents reveal more than 1,000 targets of American and British surveillance in recent years, including the office of an Israeli prime minister, heads of international aid organizations, foreign energy companies and a European Union official involved in antitrust battles with American technology businesses.”

It’s funny how NSA officials, when they are pulled onto Capitol Hill to testify in front of Congress, never mention the fact that a large part of NSA surveillance targets allies and bureaucratic heads of innocuous aid organizations. It’s hard to create domestic political acceptance of Big Brother when not even the most paranoid phobic considers their surveillance targets a threat.

The targeting of foreign businesses is especially noteworthy, since it is essentially economic espionage. The government can’t seriously claim that spying on Joaquín Almunia, the vice president of the European Commission, is done to protect Americans from foreign attacks. The commission “has broad authority over local and foreign companies, and has punished a number of American companies, including Microsoft and Intel, with heavy fines for hampering fair competition,” the Times reports.

NSA has been spying on the Brazilian oil company Petrobras and in October President Obama ordered the NSA to halt surveillance of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The White House has explicitly denied that the NSA spies for economic warfare. “We do not use our intelligence capabilities for that purpose. We use it for security purposes,” spokesman Jay Carney insisted.

I think it’s time the government drop the issuance of public denials on that front. It’s clear NSA spies for the sake of the government and the business elite, not to protect the people.

15 thoughts on “Not My NSA: Big Brother Is For the Benefit of The State and Big Business”

  1. Yes, gets it, and so likely does the rest of the world, no matter how many Americans are still clueless.

    The NSA has also been advised not to abuse the NSA to change account balances (wait a second? whose account balances?) or to steal trade secrets. Not that they were actually doing it or anything, perish the thought.

  2. Any government agency that can simply resort to notions of "national security" to successfully avoid scrutiny is inconsistent with a free republic. Period. The capacity for corruption within such a community is limitless. Putting aside spying on foreign elements, how long before corporations and wealthy individuals hire corrupt elements of these communities to spy on domestic competitors and settle scores with private individuals?

  3. Really thank wed information from your site, your website is almost certainly surely the greatest. Very clearly exposed. The empire's job is to lie to quell the public, so that the empire can keep feeding off of it. They will never, never stop lying.

  4. Great article. Im so sick of the NSA spying especially on people who look at adult entertainment and sites like that. Freedom of privacy and freedom of speech I say!

  5. It hasn't been mentioned much, but one of the main reasons the NSA spies on foreign heads of state and their wives and friends is to dig up the dirt on these people so that they can be blackmailed – it's a particularly characteristic tool of trade in the new Zio-con weird order.

  6. The US government are inveterate liars and cheats. They have betrayed the American people on many occasions of which the NSA is only one.

  7. The accommodation for bribery aural such a association is limitless. Putting abreast spying on adopted elements, how continued afore corporations and affluent individuals appoint base elements of these communities to spy on calm competitors and achieve array with clandestine individuals?

  8. This just reinforces what we knew intuitively when the NSA did not identify the Tsarnaev brothers either before or even after the Boston attacks, even though the Russians gave us warnings about them.

  9. excellent publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector don’t understand this. You must proceed your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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