The national security state: go along now; nothing to see here

A tidy little depository

There is an astonishing and superbly researched in-depth story at Wired Magazine about the one million square foot facility now under construction in Utah for the National Security Agency.

It’s very disturbing. And it’s in full view (well, not exactly full view – the photograph accompanying the story is by “Name Withheld”, suggesting that such stories have consequences) to any media organization that cared to look. Few do.

A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

So much for the outcry and so much for Congress. The NSA moves forward under its own gargantuan authority and can barely be challenged any more.

Your tax dollars at work suckers.

12 responses to “The national security state: go along now; nothing to see here

  1. shortbus-wookie

    Yes, well, as long as we all obey the ‘thought police’s’ wishes, there shall be no ‘undefined detainment without crime.’ Just remember that the chains are for your protection, and nevermind the cattle cars filled with people. They are only going to the workkamps to ‘building a better Amerika.’


  2. Come On Moe….
    There IS NO privacy anymore…
    I just got a new iPhone….
    I had to decide between privacy and having the convince of the phone..
    It bothered me for about 10 seconds….
    I thought?
    Remember when you had to sit down and fill out paper work to get a loan or buy a car?
    Well now all you gotta do is sit down and give your social security number and Wa -La!
    The person in front of you has your history down to last born….

    The NSA certainly can access that…
    The new iPhone like ALL phones comes on EVERY few sections to find out where it is and locate the nearest cell tower…..
    Weither the phone is ON or NOT…..

    Moe ….
    I’m too damn old to worry about this stuff….
    I try to keep it clean….
    But the NSA KNOWS what we ALL do…
    They know so much….
    They don’t know…..
    A piece I did back a year ago revealed that the one of the head guys said they get SO MUCH info they can’t read it all…

    Well in 2013 there will be more….
    Hopefully they’ll be able to track down bad guys …
    And leave us Good one alone….

    The funding for the place is YOUR Congress at work….
    You and I paid the bill……


  3. Sorry for the spelling and grammar it’s 11:47 PM and I’m a bit tired…..


    • Heck james, I didn’t even notice the tpyos 🙂

      Your’e right – I know they’ve already got me down to my miles per gallon. I like to say that JC Penny probably knows more about me than my mother. The social networking dynamic and stuff Google is collecting . . . it’s all out there and absent a worldwide net crash, it’ll be there forever.

      And like you, I am past being concerned for myself. But man! I don’t want my country’s future to be what now seems inevitable – the Big Brother state.


  4. Me neither…..

    But It’s too late….


  5. Ah, all the All Seeing Big Brother SciFi I read as a kid…all prescient, all happening now. Too late now to do anything about it. Not that there was a time we could.


  6. Fascinating that this is anounced in the same week as Britain starts a good ol row about bringing in its version of the Patriot Act, and starts storing everyones on-line shopping lists and Facebook comments. Looks like once Liberal Western Democracies are marching in lock step towards a facist future. And! The Supreme Court on Monday allows demonstrators to be strip searched as humiliation and to deter them turning up again…interesting week!


    • DAvid (and James) – I haven’t read it yet, but Dana Priest, a fine reporter out of the Washington Post, wrote a book last year called “Top Secret America” all about the NSA.

      That strip search decision is genuinely fascist. Add in local police increasingly using military hardware and tactics . . in AZ their somewhat demented governor is about to sign into law soemthing that makes all kind sof online speech illegal – including speech that is (I kid you not) “annoying”. Truly through the looking glass. Wonder if the Supremes will uphold that one?

      I heard about your new law – the British version of ‘Total Information Awareness’ – and I’ll be we’re sharing with them.


  7. Yea Dave……
    And It’s just enough to get thru everyday in ONE PIECE…
    Let alone worry about what this country will continue to do…



    US American’s can used to ANYTHING!


  9. Us……



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