Whenever anyone challenges yet another power grab by government bureaucrats to spy, harass, and otherwise push their noses where it doesn’t belong, the post-9/11 “explanation” is always the same: It’s all the fault of the terrorists, because, don’tcha know, we’ve got to keep our Eye on them all the time. So shut up, whiner, it’s for your own good!
The Snowden revelations prove this is all so much BS.
The scooping up of phone “metadata” and online content, so it can be stored away for a rainy day, is just the tip of the iceberg. Now it turns out that much of what Snowden exposed is all about the US ginning up a cyberwar offensive by sniffing out “targets” overseas. Please don’t tell me the NSA is snooping around the European Union’s government computers because they’re out hunting “terrorists.” And what about Japan – are we really supposed to believe the US is all that concerned about Al-Qaeda-in-Nippon, or is something else going on here? The Japanese, for their part, are just a little taken aback:
“Tokyo has also insisted that Japan will ‘strongly demand’ a clarification over the alleged spying. Tokyo said complaints will be lodged through diplomatic channels over the matter.
“We are aware of the report, but it’s not clear (whether) what was reported was true. First we will demand the truth through diplomatic channels,” said Tokyo’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, adding that the country has ‘concerns’ over the situation.”
Snowden is generally described in the media as an “IT specialist,” a “computer whiz,” etc., but his actual job title was “infrastructure analyst,” according to the New York Times:
“It is a title that officials have carefully avoided mentioning, perhaps for fear of inviting questions about the agency’s aggressive tactics: an infrastructure analyst at the N.S.A., like a burglar casing an apartment building, looks for new ways to break into Internet and telephone traffic around the world.”
Of course they carefully avoid mentioning it, because it gives away their game. The NSA isn’t breaking into French, German, Turkish, Japanese, Italian, etc., computers because they’re gunning for “terrorists,” on that you can bet the farm. They’re doing it because they can – and because there’s nobody to stop them, since it’s all done in the dark. What the Snowden revelations underscore is an under-appreciated fact that is now staring us all in the face: the US is at war with the world. As the Times put it:
“A secret presidential directive on cyberactivities unveiled by Mr. Snowden – discussing the primary new task of the N.S.A. and its military counterpart, Cyber Command – makes clear that when the agency’s technicians probe for vulnerabilities to collect intelligence, they also study foreign communications and computer systems to identify potential targets for a future cyberwar.
“Infrastructure analysts like Mr. Snowden, in other words, are not just looking for electronic back doors into Chinese computers or Iranian mobile networks to steal secrets. They have a new double purpose: building a target list in case American leaders in a future conflict want to wipe out the computers’ hard drives or shut down the phone system.”
They claim it’s all in the interest of protecting us from our enemies – but who is the real “enemy” here when the NSA is busy setting up our allies for cyber-attack, as well as spying on millions of innocent Americans? Which brings us to my so far favorite part of Datagate: how the Brits in cooperation with the NSA spied on diplomats and government officials attending London gatherings of the “Group of 20,” which negotiates key trade agreements. They did this “partly by luring delegates to fake Internet cafes,” as the Times reports. What did this “luring” consist of? Free double-mocha fat-free lattes and a blueberry scone? Discount hookers? The mind boggles.
According to secret NSA documents detailed by the Guardian, these fake Internet cafés were customized to be “able to extract key logging info, providing creds (credentials) for delegates, meaning we have sustained intelligence options against them even after conference has finished.”
Come on down to the Malware Café, folks, where your laptop will be infected with software that records your keystrokes, plunders your passwords, and alerts NSA/GCHQ whenever you log on to your favorite porn site. Yes, “we have sustained intelligence options against them,” indeed.