“Collecting The Haystack” And Almightiness
The NSA will now push new internal rules to protect data it illegally collects from being accessed by its own staff.
Those rules will include an additional layer of encryption, four-eyes rule for system administration and more compartmentalized access.
That is fine because it will kill the NSA’s productivity and effectiveness.
The NSA’s says it needs all the data it collects to find “terrorists”.
If one believes that the NSA genuinely wants to find terrorists one should be worried that it has chosen the wrong method for the false problem:
General Alexander spoke in defense of the N.S.A.’s surveillance programs, including its collection of a vast database of information about all phone calls made and received in the United States. “You need a haystack to find a needle,” he said
The assertion that one needs a haystack to find a needle is incredibly stupid.
It assumes that there is a needle (or “terrorist”).
Something neither given nor provable.
Even if there were a needle how will making the haystack bigger it easier to find it?
And why is the needle the danger that must be found?
Edwald Snowden set the NSA’s haystack on fire.
Alexander now has his house burning because of the much too large haystack he accumulated.
That General Alexander comes up with such implausible assertions makes one wonder about the real motives behind the obsession with data collection.
My hunch is that the only real reason behind it is “because we can”.
People under total observation change their behavior and change in their characters.
But total observation also changes the behavior and character of the observer. It creates fantasies of unlimited power, of almightiness and leads to total arrogance.
I believe that Alexander and the politicians’ defending him show the symptoms of this disease.
They assume that they are unbeatable and can act without any consequences.
It is up to us to teach them that they are wrong.