I was reflecting tonight on the NSA debacle and was thinking back on my own career. I am retired now but worked for a company (actually several companies but MY position never changed, they just kept changing the sign on the building ...) that built surveillance satellites for the NRO. Of course we couldn't even say "N R O" at the time but that bubble has burst long ago. We also had contact with another agency with a similar acronym although we were mostly optical "R" when we dealt with that other agency.
You may have heard of Corona which has been declassified and actually installed in the Air and Space Museum. It was really freaky to go see it as when I was working on the follow-on program Corona was a "naughty word" never to be mentioned. I don't think I can mention our program (but a simple search can reveal it) yet but it, too, was optical. But at the same time we had several other programs which were trying to integrate optical surveillance with "SigInt" (Signal Intelligence) and although we did not use those technologies we did work with people who did.
So even back in the early 1980's the focus in the Intel community was on advancing spying on every part that could be spied on. That it has gone as far as it has in the past 30 years in no surprise at all to me. It is a pattern that has its roots way back in time.
I don't know that you can use any of my musings. It matters little in the current scheme of things. But I thought you might like to hear of a retired "spy" who actively worked these programs that I think it has gone too far by leagues. What disturbs me most is the feeling of entitlement that these people seem to feel. It's "because I can therefore I WILL" that bothers me. Distresses me. There seems to be no Right or Wrong evaluation here. At all.
Back in the roaring 60's my brand new wife and I were fed f'ing up with the US of A. The gom'nt was f'ing everything up, we had the "war" (Viet Nam), Nixon/Watergate, and we just figured we would emigrate to Australia which had a bounty of computer techs. We didn't go. But it is looking really good about now!
For the world that isn't run by lawyers, and we get to talk about that here a lot, it's a world run by accountants. And if they find something they can count easily they will grab it, stuff it into a spreadsheet and you'll pay hell trying to convince them that it's meaningless. Meaning is for Engineers and Designers and such. Just like But, But, Piracy! It's But, But, Numbers!
Hmmm, I don't think Mike spelled "Slimy" at all. He is Slimy, of course, and will spell it correctly if required to at a Congressional Hearing or some such but I don't think, at this point, that he has been required to provide a spelling of the word so far.
He is, of course, my Favorite "Slimy Troll" and my comment was meant to amuse rather than an actual, intended insult.
You "may" be aware that if you make too much of a "big deal" about this then there is an Effect named after a certain popular singer that I am pretty sure you are aware of. Come to think of it, it may already be in effect at some level As We Speak. ;-)
See, EVERY TIME we let "The Public" in to comment they bring up all sorts of objections and, well, PROBLEMS with whatever we have already decided upon. It's REALLY, REALLY INCONVENIENT and, well, we'd just Rather Not if you don't mind ... or, actually, even if you do ... sorry (;-)) (sort of, not really, uuuhhhh)