NSA agents may have infiltrated the global communications industry


Color me jaded, but isn’t this what intelligence agencies are supped to do? I find it far less surprising (or offensive) that the US is engaged in surveillance of foreign people through foreign companies.

Sure, I’m upset at the level of domestic surveillance, but that is largely because I think it violates our constitution and civil rights. Those rights are only applicable to those in the US and US citizens. To the extent that it weakens US interests or damages relationships with allies it might not be a great idea, but I’m not sure I can get as upset about it.

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Because it’s going to be very difficult to get the balance right, I think we should get started right now on working out a sufficiently obsequious and responsibility-shirking answer to the question that will surely plague us from future generations as we all slowly die off, leaving them a totalitarian and dystopic culture of fascism:
“How could you let this happen?”

IMO it starts with “Well…” in a sort of elongated and descending, deprecating tone, to suggest that even asking the question belies an understanding of the topic, followed by some kind of accusatory, self-righteous blaming of others, potentially powerful, potentially dead or dying individuals; people can really get into the whole scapegoat thing.

“Well, we all had to sit around thinking of how to answer you little twerps asking this question and didn’t have time to engage with the fascists.”

We can really give the baby boomers a run for their money. Their money.

edit: lol

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Unsurprising. See the “Cryptogate” affair, many years ago, the compromising of crypto hardware sold by supposedly neutral vendor.

As one of the foreign people I am upset about it, and rightfully so. I do not want the grubby NSA paws in my comm, and double not so in my local corporations.

Cleanse the infrastructure from such people, with fire (both incendiaries and small and heavy arms) if needed!

And, at least in case of easy replacements (which there is often plenty of), do not use American clouds, nor US-made hardware. That will hurt the corporations, which will hopefully, via the money strings, transfer the pain to the “elected officials”, who, again hopefully, make a little less pain-free for the spooks. There’s plenty of the world - and tech vendors - outside of the debt-ridden, baton-wagging, wannabe planetary policeman. Buying American in post-Snowden world carries a well-deserved stigma.

Also, require the infrastructure components to be transparent and auditable. So even if some spook manages to infiltrate a supposedly trustworthy vendor, an in-depth audit still can reveal the treachery and track it down to the perpetrator.

…and then they wonder about the rise of anti-Americanism in the world, and wonder, and wonder, and cast blame to everything but themselves, and never look into a mirror…


I don’t get how people can’t see this connection. We continually throw our weight around in a number of ways, “for the good of the world”, and we can’t understand how people could possibly hate us (edited to add) or possibly fear us. We’re an imperial power. Full stop. Until we come to grips with that reality and work to change it, some people will continue to embrace anti-Americanism.


They look into the mirror plenty.

Just to see who’s gonna blink first.


You are in the process of finding out that imperialism costs big time. The British Empire was even bigger in its day, and it essentially went broke - that’s why there is no such thing anymore. “For the good of the world” translates to “for the good of a few at the top”, and everyone else gets the shaft, including the nation at the hub of empire. Consider what would be affordable if, for instance, you had a smaller peacetime army…


I think the NSA is totally out of control, and at this point is probably doing a lot more harm than good.

But being a spying agency, having – well, spies – isn’t very surprising, and not particularly distributing.


I’m more interested in what these undercover agents put on their tax returns. Do they get W-2s from both the government AND company (A/B/C)? Do they get to keep the pay from both jobs? Does the IRS have a ‘no-audit’ flag attached to their SSN?

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NSA some time ago had a directive that the employees are supposed to not discuss the Snowden leaks.

Let’s assume that there is no directive allowing violations of this one in order to keep cover. Could the willingness to talk and speculate about American secrets be used as a sort of shibboleth, a behavioral test that would provide an indication of possible involvement?

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