Last year, well before all of the revelations concerning the NSA's surveillance program, reporter James Bamford, who has a long history of reporting on the NSA's questionable activities, revealed the details of the NSA's massive data center
in Bluffdale, Utah, which it was building to host all of this information that it's been hoovering up for years. Michael Morisy, from Muckrock, used a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get the media talking points
that the NSA used upon the groundbreaking of the building. As reported in Bamford's piece, there had been a "public" groundbreaking, with press there, and Morisy wondered how the NSA framed the building's purpose when it first discussed it. And, the answer, it appears, was to play down anything having to do with the massive data collection.
The talking points play up the fact that there's so much data online, but rather than talking about how the NSA is collecting all of it, they say that they're setting up this operation to help "protect" your data. From everyone... except the NSA, of course.
- DISCUSS THE FOR TAKING NATIONAL ACTION TO THE CYBERSECURITY PROBLEMS WE FACE.
- US DEPENDENCE ON THE INTERNET PROBABLY GREATER THAN ANY OTHER NATION
- NOT JUST MEANS OF COMMUNICATIONS BUT DATA IS THERE As WELL -- FINANCIAL DATA, DATA
- CYBERSPACE CONTROLS OUR CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE -- BANKING, ENERGY, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL, UTILITIES
- THREAT IS GROWING -- INFRASTRUCTURE TARGETTED FOR AND POTENTIALLY FOR DISRUPTION OR DESTRUCTION BY GROWING NUMBER OF AND ACTORS
Notice, also, how when they do discuss looking outbound, rather than just "protecting" networks, they lump it all together:
WE NEED TO USE OUR PARTNERSHIPS BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE OUR KNOWLEDGE AND CAPABILITIES IN CYBERSPACE TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE THREAT, AND TO BETTER RESPON TO IT.
Of course, they leave out that "the threat" is all of us in the public, and how to "better respon (sic) to it" is to collect all data everywhere.
Hell, they even go so far as to suggest that they're going out of their way, and beyond their mandate, just to "help out" all those tech companies they work with. Just to be helpful.
GOVERNMENT HAS NO LEGISLATED REQUIREMENT TO PROTECT THE DOT-COM NETWORKS. NONETHELESS, IT CANNOT BE ARGUED THAT THESE NETWORKS ARE CRITICAL TO THE DAY-TO-DAY FUNCTIONING AND OPERATING OF THE UNITED STATES, ITS GOVERNMENT, ITS BUSINESSES, AND ITS PEOPLE...
WE WOULD BE REMISS, AS PUBLIC SERVANTS, IF WE DID NOT USE THE INFORMATION WE GAIN IN PROTECTING OUR DOT-MIL AND DOT-GOV NETWORKS TO HELP TO SECURE THE DOT-COM NETWORKS AS WELL.
Yeah. And by "helping" to "secure" those networks, we actually mean "partnering" with the telcos to snarf up every bit of data that crosses those networks for our own spying efforts. And they keep going on and on about the importance of these "partnerships."
WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE -- NOR IS IT IN OUR BEST INTERESTS TO TRY. JUST AS CYBERSPACE AFFECTS EVERY ASPECT OF OUR SOCIETY, SO TOO MUST OUR EFFORTS TO SECURE CYBERSPACE MOVE BEYOND GOVERNMENT TO INCLUDE THE PRIVATE SECTOR, ACADEMIA, AND OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS.
And by "secure cyberspace," we mean "undermine the privacy of everyone" by collecting all their data. That's the part the NSA truly cannot "do alone."
I also love this one:
EMPHASIZE THAT NSA'S ROLE IN THIS IS NOT A 'MILITARIZATION' OF CYBERSPACE; TECHNICAL ADVISORY CAPACITY ONLY.
A "technical advisory capacity only" that involves on-premise systems at every major telco, hoovering up every single bit of data that crosses those systems to store for future "analysis" inside the Bluffdale center? That's just a technical advisory capacity?
But, don't worry, it's all "legal."
UNDERSCORE THAT EVERYTHING NSA DOES IN CYBERSPACE IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW AND REGULATION AND THAT WE ARE 100% COMMITTED TO PROTECTIN THE CIVIL LIBERTIES AND PRIVACY RIGHTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
And by "in compliance with law and regulation," we mean after
we convinced the FISA court to secretly reinterpret a law that those who wrote the law say is exactly how the law was not supposed to be interpreted. But we won't even discuss how we interpret the law publicly, because that's a national security issue.
AT NSA, OUR TOP THREE CORE VALUES ARE LAWFULNESS, HONESTY, AND INTEGRITY.
And lying. Oh, so much lying. Did we mention the lying?
WE APPRECIATE THE WELCOME YOU HAVE GIVEN US.
And we know you appreciate our presence, because, well, because we know.