sosadmin’s blog - 08/23/2012
We don’t know much about what the NSA is doing. What we do know – and what we suspect - is featured in today’s New York Times.
Shane Harris, author of The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State, reports that the legacy of John Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness program “operates with little accountability or restraint” at the NSA, while filmmaker Laura Poitras invites William Binney, a 32-year NSA-veteran-turned-whistleblower, to talk about what that means for all of us.
Binney contends that the program he created for foreign intelligence gathering has been “turned inward on this country” and that the NSA has the capacity to monitor what everyone is doing and show the “entire life” of an individual over time.
Malte Spitz, a Green Party politician in Germany who gave a TED talk on telecom surveillance was able to map his own life using six months’ worth of data that telecoms had gathered on him. Just imagine what kind of dossier he could have put together on himself if he had access to the range of personal data and computer power possessed by the NSA.
As Shane Harris writes, the NSA’s “global surveillance system continues to grow. It now collects so much digital detritus – e-mails, calls, text messages, cellphone location data and a catalog of computer viruses – that the NSA is building a 1-million-square-foot facility in the Utah desert to store and process it. What’s missing, however, is a reliable way of keeping track of who sees what, and who watches whom.”