Well friends, the folks at the NSA are at it again, according to Wired Magazine, building a new super-listening post in Utah(and thanks to Mr. P.T. for sending me this one):
The center, you’ll note, is being built near Bluffdale, Utah, and will literally mine all aspects of all electronic communications, and doubtless have supercomputers programmed to create profiles of people suspected of harboring terrorist sympathies in a kind of Department of Pre-Crime operation, as in the movie Minority Report.
“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.
“But ‘this is more than just a data center,’ says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: ‘Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.’”
What intrigues me here is the emphasis on monitoring electronic encrypted codes, particularly of financial transactions. We’ve all seen the financial meltdown and malfeasance of the banksters lately, and this new capability will perhaps give some insights into their dealings.
But for me, in the wake of the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, with the ability now to incarcerate Americans, the real specter remains the possibility of pre-crime, of detaining people suspected of merely being able or inclined to commit a crime or act of terrorism. The ability to build psychological profiles of every American citizen will grow exponentially with the completion of this center, and so with it, will come the potential for abuse and the temptation to use it for purposes for which it was not intended.
See you on the flip side…