Some of the most recent documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the FISA court actually had the guts to allow the NSA free access to the private information lines of each and every country in the world except for about four.
The four special countries that were treated on the basis of favoritism, as if the rest were races from a different God, were: Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
They together formed a group that was titled the Five Eyes. But what was even more strange and outrageous was the free hand that had been lent to the NSA to do as it wanted to with the privacy and confidentiality of external actors in foreign lands. And the freedom of access was unlimited as regards its specificity. Anything and everything was grist to the NSA mill.
“These documents show both the potential scope of the government’s surveillance activities and the exceedingly modest role the court plays in overseeing them,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union.
The documents seem to have been the final nail in the NSA’s coffin as regards reputation. Over 193 countries were on the hit list. This pretty much covers the entire global village so what else is there left to say?
And believe it or not…such agencies as the World Bank, the IMF and the European Union not to mention the IAEA were right there on top of the list.
And while this did not necessarily point to the fact that the NSA pinpointed all these countries and agencies, it did show the mirror to the USA regarding its heavy handed spying activities on a planetary level.
“It’s not impossible to imagine a humanitarian crisis in a country that’s friendly to the United States, where the military might be expected on a moment’s notice to go in and evacuate all Americans,” said a former senior defense official.
The breach of civil rights via eavesdropping on whosoever they liked has earned the NSA a bad name. It is the potential for extreme paranoia that exists in some members of our species that is the really scary resultant of this whole scandal.
“Intelligence requirements, whether satisfied through human sources or electronic surveillance, involve information that may touch on almost every foreign country,” said Timothy Edgar, former privacy officer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and now a visiting fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Affairs.
While many NSA members in the senior ranks refused to make any further comments on the shameful situation, some did say this much that the list was a necessary evil in today’s troubled times of terrorism.
A spokeswoman for the NSA, Vanee Vines, said the agency may only target foreigners “reasonably believed to be outside the United States.”
“In short, there must be a particular intelligence need, policy approval and legal authorization for U.S. signals intelligence activities, including activities conducted pursuant to Section 702,” Vines said.