Tag Archives: national security agency

#NSA spying: New Efforts and New Effects

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A couple NSA-related news articles from the last few days which, for whatever reason, haven’t generated nearly enough buzz:

NSA surveillance hurting tech firms’ business

(via USA Today) – The National Security Agency, and revelations about its extensive surveillance operations — sometimes with the cooperation of tech firms — have undermined the ability of many U.S. companies to sell products in key foreign countries, creating a fissure with the U.S. government and prompting some to scramble to create “NSA-resistant” products. The fallout could cost the tech industry billions of dollars in potential contracts, which has executives seething at the White House.

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Thanks to the #NSA, you’re now an “Enemy of the State” (or you soon could be…)

Enemy Of The State (1998) - 1One of my top twenty movies of all time is Enemy of the State, a 1998 film starring Gene Hackman and Will Smith. If you haven’t seen it, Smith plays a normal guy (married, good job, etc.) who unwittingly gets mixed up in an NSA-ordered murder of a politician. The rest is about what happens to Smith’s life when the NSA decides it needs to rip that life to shreds.

This man, almost overnight, loses his job, his wife, access to his bank account, and is hotly pursued by law enforcement. Through satellites, cameras, and tons of cool tech, he’s tracked everywhere: nowhere seems to be safe. The film’s title is accurate: he literally is made into an Enemy of the State. If it weren’t for Gene Hackman’s character, Smith would have been jailed, or dead, or both.

Back in 1998 this was still relatively fantastical, taken seriously only by the professionally paranoid. We couldn’t have that sort of thing happen in the cradle of freedom and liberty.

Welcome to “Enemy of the State”, circa 2013:

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