‘Big Data’ Dynamo: How Giant Tech Firms Help the Government Spy on Us and Gut Privacy
SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013
As the secret state continues trawling the electronic communications of hundreds of millions of Americans, lusting after what securocrats euphemistically call “actionable intelligence,” a notional tipping point that transforms a “good” citizen into a “criminal” suspect, the role played by telecommunications and technology firms cannot be emphasized enough.
Ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began leaking secrets to media outlets about government surveillance programs, one fact stands out: The zero probability these privacy-killing projects would be practical without close (and very profitable) “arrangements” made with phone companies, internet service providers and other technology giants.
Indeed, a top secret NSA Inspector General’s report published by The Guardian, revealed that the agency “maintains relationships with over 100 US companies,” adding that the US has the “home field advantage as the primary hub for worldwide telecommunications.”