It now seems totally ironic that, back when I was in High School, a popular band was called “The Police,” and they had a hit song that began this way:
Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you breatk, every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every single day
And every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay
I’ll be watching you.
I’m not sure why such a stalky song was considered so cool to listen to, but it does seem like prophecy now.
Last Thursday, NSA Director General Keith Alexander, dressed as always in military regalia to communicate to the peons that America is an official battlefield, gave assurances that only twelve times had anyone ever abused their authority in the NSA and spied on people for personal reasons. According to the Guardian:
“He told senators on the intelligence committee that abuse of the NSA’s powerful monitoring tools were ‘with very rare exception’ unintentional mistakes. ‘The press claimed evidence of thousands of privacy violations. This is false and misleading,’ he said. ‘According to NSA’s independent inspector general, there have been only 12 substantiated case of willful violation over 10 years. Essentially, one per year.’ He added: ‘Today, NSA has a privacy compliance program any leader of a large, complex organization would be proud of.’”
Interesting. I thought generals had to learn math. The ratio is essentially twelve per decade or 1.2 a year on average. Essentially.
Furthermore, the General is fibbing. He has no idea how many times the NSA’s powers have been breached by employees because they have no way of catching anyone. Essentially, the twelve known cases were revealed by accident. For example:
“The unauthorised abuse of the NSA’s surveillance tools only came to light after one of the women, who happened to be a US government employee, told a colleague that she suspected the man – with whom she was having a sexual relationship – was listening to her calls.”
“One of the cases emerged in 2011 ,when an NSA employee based abroad admitted during a lie-detector case that he had obtained details about his girlfriend’s telephone calls ‘out of curiosity.’ He retired last year. In a similar case, from 2005, an NSA employee admitted to obtaining his partner’s phone data to determine whether she was ‘involved’ with any foreign government officials. In a third, a female NSA employee said she listened to calls on an unknown foreign telephone number she discovered stored on his cell phone, suspecting he ‘had been unfaithful.”
In none of these cases is there evidence of a way of detecting unauthorized use. These are just cases where the NSA was lucky that the perpetrators admitted what they had been done.
Even in the cases of those twelve, none were prosecuted by the Department of Justice even though they were each guilty of a felony if the charges were proven.
So we have no evidence of safeguards and no evidence of anyone getting punished for their crimes. The government has created a spy paradise.