- Politics and Social Issues
NSA the monster unleashed
What is NSA?
The National Security Agency is the world's most technologically advanced and secretive intelligence agency.Head quartered at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland the NSA is the US's lead in cryptology including signals intelligence and information security and intelligence.The NSA essentially conducts intelligence and counterintelligence in the defense of sensitive classified materials of the US along with conducting network warfare against foreign adversaries and terror organizations as well as collects,disseminates and processes intelligence information from signals for counterintelligence purposes as well as to support military operations.To put this in simple terms ,the NSA monitors all forms of electronic communications and looks for threats,the NSA also protects US national security information and prevents cyber terrorism as well as conducts cyber war against known enemies.This may seem like something too incredible to achieve but the NSA have been in business long before most citizens even knew the internet existed. This agency is a tremendous force that includes traditional as well as new high tech clandestine technics making it the world's most secretive and formidable intelligence agency.
Should we worry about NSA?
Employing literally thousands of top of the class cutting edge computer and information professionals and data analysts the NSA monitors all electronic signals by means of intercepting facilities all over the US,where before Sept.11th 2001 all intercepted signals by law were in bound and foreign to foreign signals but since then the lines have been blurred. Many Executive orders and new laws with broad undefined language have opened the door to allow information gathering to be conducted on ALL signals and these piles of data are analyzed,sifted,sorted and sometimes stored for undisclosed lengths of time.The NSA also has it's very own clandestine operative force and has direct access to special black ops military teams such as the denied Army Force Delta.Although the NSA outwardly promotes the protection of privacy of US citizens the very nature of this organization makes it impossible to know exactly what guide lines that are followed.The 911 commission when investigating the events of the terrorist attacks were not allowed to question or investigate the NSA.There have been many rumors and reports of sub standard practices by the NSA but because of the security classifications of this agency no one has or can investigate into any area of which the NSA operates.Why should we worry? Any agency that is above oversight by Congress is an agency that has the potential to be used illegally and beyond normal descent parameters.Potential corruption and misuse of such power is a very real threat to the privacy and civil liberties of American citizens as well as anyone on the planet.
What makes this more dangerous now?
The NSA acted along with Google in 2010 in response to a cyber attack that occurred in China allegedly by the Chinese Government.In an attempt to understand the nature of the ties that the NSA and Goolge share along with the facts of the cyber attack on Google the Electronic Privacy Information Center sought the communications and details between Google and the NSA of which the NSA refused.The reason NSA refused was because they considered the Information would make the US vulnerable to cyber attack.Last year a federal district court judge sided with NSA.The disclosure case was taken to appeals court and on Friday a 3 judge panel of the US appeals court of DC upheld the ruling.Judge Janice Brown wrote in the ruling"NSA need not make a specific showing of potential harm to national security in order to justify withholding information"
"The existence of a relationship or communications between the NSA and any private company certainly constitutes an 'activity' of the agency" subject to exemption, Brown wrote. "Whether the relationship — or any communications pertaining to the relationship — were initiated by Google or NSA is irrelevant to our analysis."-USA Today
The inherent danger within this ruling comes from a standard or benchmark now set due to the upholding of the ruling exempting the NSA from disclosing any information or activities.Simply put this gives the NSA the power to withhold legally any information it deems as necessary.Which in reality means that NSA answers to no agency legally.This ruling effectively allows for the NSA to conduct any type of activities it sees fit without restraint by federal or international law.Since NSA can decide to whom and what information it discloses elevates the agency to above the law status and creates a very dangerous situation. An organization that is as advanced and well funded as NSA that already polices the world is a very likely to become self entitled to make questionable decisions that it should not have the authority to make. For example the CIA only has partial protection from disclosure and has been the subject of numerous debates and less than legal activity and yet it still pushes the envelope of legality and morality even though the spot light is always turned on it's activities. To put the two agencies in light ,if the CIA were an F-15,the NSA is an aircraft carrier.
If the NSA became lead by the wrong man or group of men the result would be the end of the US as we know it.The ability of this ultra powerful agency to control not only the US government but many governments is a very real issue.Along with the control and flow of the internet and all information networked to the web potentially creates the ability to dominate and control most if not all of the connected world. The danger of allowing this super secret super powerful technologically advanced agency to work without the oversight of the citizens of the US is possibly the worst mistake the bumbling government has made to date.Removing this power should be priority one of any intelligent governing body while the possibility remains.
In conclusion the NSA have had a legal benchmark laid down that essentially gives the agency the power to withhold any and all information that is deemed necessary. This ability to work unaccountably realistically means that the NSA works above and beyond the laws of the US.Although some may disagree this event is more dangerous than NDAA2013 or HR347 or any other newly passed law. Relying on the morality and good will of the head of NSA to protect our freedom from being removed is not an option the citizens of the US should gamble with.In attempt to prevent any further power gain by NSA and to protect privacy and civil liberty of the people of the US concerned citizens should send their unified outcry of dis approval to every accessible branch of government including state and local as well as federal representatives. Regardless of the integrity of current NSA leaders the open possibility for corruption and domination warrant action taken to make this and ALL government agencies subject to the oversight and laws of the US citizens.Any classified information should still have to pass special oversight committees to ensure compliance to the law.No agency should be allowed to operate without civilian elected oversight..