Internet Fascism and the Surveillance State
Jul 15, 2013
What is the purpose of telecommunication and internet surveillance?
The NSA presents its surveillance operations as being directed toward security issues, claiming that the programs are needed to counter terrorist attacks. Bald assertions of plots foiled are intended to bolster this claim. However, secret NSA documents reveal that their surveillance is used to gather intelligence to achieve political goals for the US government.
Agency documents show extensive surveillance of communications from allied governments, including the targeting of embassies and missions. Reports from an NSA whistleblower also allege that the agency has targeted and intercepted communications from a range of high-level political and judicial officials, anti-war groups, US banking firms and other major companies and non-government organizations. This suggests that the goal of surveillance is the further political empowerment of the NSA and the US government.
Ostensibly, the goal of the NSA surveillance is to prevent terrorist acts that would harm or kill people in the United States. But in reality, the primary goal is to enable greater control of that population (and others) by the US government. When questioned about this issue, NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake was unequivocal about the goal of the NSA: “to own the internet and find out what everybody is doing.”
“To own the internet” — Public-private partnerships in mass surveillance
The internet is, by its very nature, a decentralized arrangement, created by the interaction of many private and government servers operating on telecommunications networks throughout the world. This has always been a major bugbear of advocates for government control, who have denigrated this decentralized arrangement as being “lawless.” Since it began to expand as a tool of mass communication for ordinary people, advocates for greater government power have fought a long battle to bring the internet “under control” — i.e., under their control.