Peeping While You’re Sleeping – Why the NSA Does What It Does.

Recently, it was revealed through Edward Snowden’s leaked documents that the National Security Agency (NSA) has monitored the phone calls of leaders in Western Europe for over 10 years. This has had predictably negative impacts on the perceptions of Europeans against the prying eyes of the US intelligence community. Voters in Europe have finally been shown the man behind the curtain. Most leaders in Europe are reacting with indignation and demands for an explanation.

In my opinion, anyone who reacts with surprise at these allegations is naive. The USA has the largest and most widespread intelligence apparatus in the world. At over $52 billion, the budget for the NSA is quite meaty. It boils down to this: Spies spy. What else do people expect from the NSA? The NSA has considerable manpower and a large stack of cash to burn. What else is a spy agency going to do with such plentiful resources, other than spy? It would seem their budget increases every year. This means that we can expect an expansion in spying operations as well.

The NSA is a bureaucracy; like all other bureaucracies, their goal is to continually expand their scope and size as much as possible. This push is driven by thousands of ladder-climbing bureaucrats from the inside, all building little empires and feathering their own nests. Why did they spy on leaders in Western Europe? Because they could. What else is the NSA going to do? Technology continues to advance at an astounding rate, especially in the realm of gathering and processing information. By way of the internet, the pathway to information costs practically nil; and the technology to actually acquire said information continually improves. This makes the cost of information-gathering cheaper. This makes information cheaper. When a good is cheaper, more will be demanded. This is widely regarded as an economic law. Because information is becoming cheaper, the NSA is demanding more information. We can expect this to accelerate.

The NSA figured out that they could spy on European leaders, and nobody would find out. They didn’t count on a whistleblower, of course. Snowden notwithstanding, we can assume the spying activities would have continued for some time without being discovered. So they took the opportunity to spy. It was probably a great way for a number of bureaucrats to expand operations under their control and expand little empires.

These revelations should only serve to confirm what people already knew. As far as I’m concerned, the NSA can spy on anyone in the world whenever it wants, provided that person is connected to the internet in some way. I will not be surprised by any new allegation against the NSA’s ability to spy, unless it ‘s something really crazy. This merely serves to pull the curtain back on operations.

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