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NSA - Setting The Foundation For A Global Police State?

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Is the US National Security Agency (NSA) building the foundation for a global police state?

To answer this question, we need to understand why the NSA exists, what its mandate is, and where it has deviated from its operational boundaries. There are 3 core elements to this analysis: The NSA’s purpose, powers and performance. Let’s examine each of these 3 P’s:

The Purpose of the NSA:

In an article titled “How the NSA’s Domestic Spying Program Works” written for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (, the formation of the NSA is summarized as follows:

“The NSA’s domestic spying program, known in official government documents as the “President’s Surveillance Program,” (“The Program”) was implemented by President George W. Bush shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001. The US Government still considers the Program officially classified, but a tremendous amount of information has been exposed by various whistleblowers, admitted to by government officials during Congressional hearings and with public statements, and reported on in investigations by major newspapers across the country…In the weeks after 9/11, President Bush authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct a range of surveillance activities inside the United States, which had been barred by law and agency policy for decades.

When the NSA’s spying program was first exposed by the New York Times in 2005, President Bush admitted to a small aspect of the program—what the administration labeled the “Terrorist Surveillance Program”—in which the NSA monitored, without warrants, the communications of between 500-1000 people inside the US with suspected connections to Al Qaeda.”

The Powers of the NSA:, in its analysis titled “NSA spying is just the beginning, a far greater threat lies ahead” the following points are brought out:

1. The ability to continuously gather all types of digital data on political leaders, economic institutions, and hundreds of millions of people around the world. These would include:

· Details of every American’s call history: In addition to actual recorded calls and “customers’ names, street addresses, and other personal information.”

· Real Time Access to Phone and Internet Traffic via telecommunications companies also allows NSA to install sophisticated communications surveillance equipment in secret rooms at key telecommunications facilities around the country.

2. Unrestricted information technology (IT) power from the US government. This capability increases with advances in microchip storage capacities that seem to increase exponentially over time. The NSA has already anticipated this development by constructing a gigantic new center in the US state of Utah to house unimaginable amounts of data at an estimated cost of 3.5 to 4 billion US dollars.

3. Capacity to globally locate and potentially eliminate human targets using unmanned drones and other similar types of expanding technology. states: “Building backdoors and hacking – methods beloved by the NSA – into the chips, software, and network connections of this ‘world of things’ would turn everyday objects into potential drones that can be activated remotely or detonated.

4. NSA has access to the emerging realm of augmented reality technologies. explains: “Augmented reality involves looking at a real-world environment through an IT-enhanced pair of glasses which simultaneously display the real world and some digital content such as images, pictures, text, video, or whatever. Moreover, these glasses are connected wirelessly to the internet, so the augmented realities can be shared.

To cite a very simple example, you might be looking at a real world table, but seeing flowers on the table that aren’t there. And you might be seeing and talking to people at the table who are actually in another place…. Bear in mind the recent revelation that the NSA has already infiltrated false ‘avatars’ and engaged in other covert activity in World of Warcraft and Second Life, two of the most popular multi-player computer game systems, in which users immerse into a ‘virtual world.’…what’s next?

The logical step beyond the glasses is apt to be something like augmented reality operating through contact lenses, followed after that by augmented reality operating through actual visual and auditory implants behind the eyes and ears, thereby creating real world ‘augmented humans.’ Such technology might greatly increase the capabilities and even intelligence of users. But it also has a dystopian potential for unprecedented state spying and interference.”

5. IT-enabled ‘security’ – whether controlled by the NSA or something else – will increasingly be used for more illegal and unconstitutional surveillance and control of the population.

The Performance of the NSA:

To accurately ascertain whether the NSA is evolving into the architecture of a Global Police State, one needs to look at some key deviations from its standard mandates as summarized from several media sources, based on the Snowden revelations and other sources:

· Access to details of every American’s call history and real time access to phone and Internet traffic is reported to have been done “without a warrant in violation of federal law and the Constitution.”

· Through the NSA, the government has the ability to “read emails, texts, phone logs, track location and movements, snoop and collect information about individuals through smart phone apps, read g-chats and look at private photos.” All of this without proper disclosure and authorization.

· NSA argues that its employees only carried out the actions necessary to find terrorists and protect the U.S, but evidence of this is yet to be made public.

· There are concerns that The Fourth Amendment rights of Americans have been breached (The Fourth Amendment is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause). It is alleged that, through massive data searches rather than selected or targeted ones, innocent people have their constitutional privacy rights compromised unnecessarily.

· The NSA has been accused of exploiting legal loopholes where technology has moved faster than the law to act un-constitutionally.

Although the Snowden revelations have prompted investigations and instituted some corrective measures, the fact that the NSA violations took place in a clandestine manner suggests that there could be much more than meets the eye.

Which is why NSA actions are still reminiscent of that of the Russian K.G.B. and German Gestapo days – great models for a global police type state. Don’t wait for it to end completely though; it’s more likely that the threat of terrorism will always provide more than enough leverage for authorities to exceed their boundaries around privacy.

It looks like Big Brother will still be watching us for a long time to come.



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