After the attacks on September 11th, 2001, the United States placed intelligence gathering near or at the top of the list to prevent future terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Out of the dark lab and into life came the intelligence gathering (to some) and spying (to others). The NSA and the information gathering is at the point where labeling it a “behemoth” is arguably an understatement. This gathering of information was set in motion in 2006 and the train hasn’t looked back once. The Utah Data Center, supercomputers, wiretappings, e-mail snooping, and phone records were the targets of information gathering, all for trying to piece together any information on terrorism.
As the train moved forward, the NSA snooped where it shouldn’t have, shared with people they shouldn’t have, and stumbled into things like a person in the middle of the night at a friend’s house. All of this had made the NSA to claim it is “too big” to comply with a court order. We have heard of “too big to fail” banks, now we hear “too big to comply” government agencies. The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit in Federal Court a little while ago against the NSA and the wireless warrant tapping they conduct. Preserving relevant evidence by a party is normal in lawsuits, but the NSA claims they are too big and complex to do so. They claim not one single person can sift through the data and shutting down their operation is certainly one they do not want to undertake. Also, since the NSA is so big they warned the Court it may not be able to secure the evidence sought.
It has seemed as though the NSA was not kept in check by Congress and has taken a life of its own. The NSA’s size is a problem on the International scale as we have seen with the blunders in Brazil and with our European allies, most notably Germany. If the U.S. Government stores the data and information of almost every American, which is arguably a violation of the U.S. Constitution, why should the world and even our allies have faith in our words and promises when the government’s actions tend to show paranoia. Intelligence gathering in the name of National Security is a must and necessary, but it seems Pandora’s box was opened to the world.
Do you think the NSA admitting they are too big to comply is a problem for the U.S., the international community, and the world moving forward?