The NSA Has Decided You Are An Adversary And A Rebel

No, I am not talking only to constitutionalists, conservatives, libertarians, Christians, or any other specific group of people outside the National Security Agency. Thanks to this post from TechDirt, I can tell any reader, liberal or conservative or whatever else, that the NSA has decided that you are an enemy and a rebel.

The UK’s Guardian, the New York Times, and ProPublica have released information from Edward Snowden revealing that all the encrypted data, like our bank accounts or our online purchases, are all open and available to the NSA. They don’t need to go to the various companies holding this data and demand it from them. They have cracked the encryption, partly by simply using super computers and partly by infiltrating security standards organizations to get security weaknesses secretly normalized, and partly using a quarter-billion dollars to bribe work with tech companies to get “back doors” embedded in the security system.

I am still processing the data, but this seems to me like worse news than all the other Snowden leaks combined.

You will need to read and decide for yourself what you think of the NSA’s work to “keep you safe.” But I will point out that the NSA’s interpretation of their own work indicates that they understand themselves to be, however they might rationalize it, conducting clandestine warfare against Americans and really all residents of planet earth who don’t belong to one of the Anglo-American security agencies. The Guardian reports:

“The program ‘actively engages US and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products’ designs,’ the document states. None of the companies involved in such partnerships are named; these details are guarded by still higher levels of classification. Among other things, the program is designed to ‘insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems.’ These would be known to the NSA, but to no one else, including ordinary customers, who are tellingly referred to in the document as ‘adversaries.’

You are the NSA’s adversaries.

If that wasn’t enough, consider this quotation from ProPublica, first noticed at the Empty Wheel blog:

“The full extent of the N.S.A.’s decoding capabilities is known only to a limited group of top analysts from the so-called Five Eyes: the N.S.A. and its counterparts in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Only they are cleared for the Bullrun program, the successor to one called Manassas — both names of American Civil War battles. A parallel [British] GCHQ counterencryption program is called Edgehill, named for the first battle of the English Civil War of the 17th century.”

It cannot be a coincidence that a highly secret and illegal spying system, in two of the nations running it, uses the names of battles in which the government fought against its own citizens.

How could the government say more clearly that you are their enemy?