Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pure Speculation — Come On, Join In!

I just ran across this article on FDL:
NSA Successfully Figured Out How to Tap Into VISA’s ‘Complex Transaction Network’
By: Sunday September 15, 2013 12:12 pm

While The Guardian has published the most scoops from former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, has posted its share of revelations from documents Snowden took with him from the NSA. The latest story shows the NSA managed to figure out how to infiltrate and search records of international VISA credit card customers.

This is just one of who knows how many similar incidents (hundreds? thousands?) perpetrated by the NSA. In each case, there appears to have been effectively no supervision by any of the three branches of the American government, no attempt to align the results with the official policy goals established by the three branches, no warrants authorizing the actions, no attempt even to inform relevant congressional committees (let alone the public)... in other words, in these actions, the NSA seems to have acted as a fourth, wholly independent branch of government.

What if it actually is? Is there any precedent for a government agency secretly undertaking to act, unauthorized and unsupervised, on behalf of... or in place of... the duly constituted government?

How about Hoover's FBI?

Your speculations welcome.

1 comment:

  1. One of the many things that people never understood about the Soviet Union was that there were three competing power centers - the Party, the military, and the security apparatus.

    Even though he was a former member of the security sector, Putin pulled it apart and segmented it to prevent it from challenging him.

    We are looking at a splintered government in the US with the new intel structure looking a lot like the KGB at its peak, with all of the formerly independent agencies being consolidated into one single entity that operates outside of all checks and balances that the Constitution supposedly imposes.

    The only way to stop them is to cut off their funding.



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