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NSA : Do they know all?  Lead by the National Security Agency, NSA, US’s 17 intelligence agencies see the world differently.

Shrouded in secrecy, with an estimated US spending of $ 72 billions on intelligence, more than rest of the world combined, is an information regime, for accessing, collecting & analysing every single piece of data globally. From espionage to eavesdropping to ubiquitous surveillance has been the linear progression.

It was created in 1952 by President Truman by consolidating US signals intelligence & codebreaking activities, unknown till 1970s, took world centre stage with whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. From the Cold War espionage to Internet monopoly has been a remarkable transformation. Sister organisation in the US & friendly nation states in a way form a grand alliance.

9/11 as in lots of other areas has been a watershed moment in the history of US intelligence. ”Never Again” was the impossible mandate from powers that be. Operationlly, it meant putting the entire planet under surveillance. Quotes from top secret presentations now in public state; ”collect it all”, “know it all”, and “exploit it all,” capturing the goal & the intent of the organisation.

Traditional espionage is govt on govt, with terrorist enemy, the rules of the game changed. Simultaneously, the Internet, main communication channel of the world worked totally differently from anything known ever. Everyone’s communication used the same network. Internet’s physical wiring forces the world traffic to criss cross the US. The world uses the same MS Windows, Cisco routers etc. With world IT Giants; hardware, software & internet services located in the US & controlled by its laws, the story gets complete.

With legal enablement, best Human Resources & having created tools to subserve their interests, they control the ”military-internet complex”. Russia & China are not far behind. Privacy is not even a misnomer. A world without secrets.


Sanjay Sahay

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