aNewDomain.net commentary — The latest revelations regarding the NSA snoops were not totally unexpected. A backdoor to Windows? Everyone knew there was one. People just needed confirmation. Cracking codes? Well, it was always assumed that is what the National Security Administration (NSA) was supposed to do.
But the NSA showing an apparent deep hatred and resentment of the American public as a whole? That is not only a surprise. It’s inexcusable. And perverse.
What I’m referring to here is the NSA’s use of the word “adversaries” to describe people and institutions who use any sort of encryption to protect information that is important to them. This includes banking records, other financial records, medical records, private discussions, chat and more. All done by law-abiding Americans.
Here is a snippet from the Guardian story covering this.
Among other things, the program is designed to ‘insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems.’ These would be known to the NSA, but to no one else, including ordinary customers, who are tellingly referred to in the document as ‘adversaries.’
(The document reads:) ‘These design changes make the systems in question exploitable through Sigint collection … with foreknowledge of the modification. To the consumer and other adversaries, however, the systems’ security remains intact.’ “
This is a non-trivial comment. It’s not minor. It’s not semantics. Insofar as the NSA is concerned you are an adversary. Let’s look at the definition of the word:
Adversary: NOUN: pl. ad•ver•sar•ies
1. An opponent; an enemy.
2. Adversary The Devil; Satan. Often used with ‘The.’ “
So let me get this straight. The NSA, supported by the American public, the taxpayer, considers the people funding the operation to be the enemy? How did that happen? When did that happen?
I thought this sort of thing was not supposed to happen because we have these fabulous oversight committees in the House and Senate. Are they in on this? Does Senator Dianne Feinstein see her constituents as “the enemy?” The people who voted for her are her enemies to be destroyed? Really?
What kind of sick perversion are we dealing with here?
I put the blame directly on those representatives who run the U.S. Senate Select Committee on UnIntelligence and the House Intelligence Committee. All of the members involved have violated their Constitutional duties and have declared the American public to be the enemy.
They need to be voted out immediately.
If it were possible to recall them I would do that tomorrow. These are the same folks who sold the American public down the river. They have done nothing but encourage the onerous growth of a spy agency that we know spies on the citizens of the United States of America. Spying on Americans.
The NSA is obviously out of control if it considers the public and its institutions to be adversaries.
No wonder Dianne Feinstein, Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger are so bent out of shape over the Snowden leaks. They are in on the schemes.
And, because we know that these recent documents were never expected to see the light of day, you have to know that honesty prevails throughout. There is no good reason to sugarcoat the comments. This is what they really think. They didn’t have to be coy about it. The NSA considers the American people to be its adversary, thus its use of the word adversary.
The use of the word adversary to describe the American people is not by accident. It is not some casual usage. It’s not slang.
So now you wonder about the most-outspoken apologists for the agency, guys like Ruppersberger. You wonder if some blackmailing is going on or whether these folks just hate the country they serve.
It’s got to be one of the two.
Do something about these Congressional stooges. The worst of this group are in the Senate committee. They are making the biggest fuss about these revelations. Look at this press release — it condemns the fact that you, the American public, found out about any of this in the first place.
These people have not protected the American public. And they are apparently on board with seeing the public as adversaries, as the NSA describes them so clearly.
None of them can be trusted any more. They should have resigned the committee if they saw things differently. Or they should have exposed the wrongdoing on the floor of the Senate, where they have complete immunity from saying anything including these sorts of revelations.
They all said nothing.
And let’s get one point straight. None of this complaining is about real state secrets or screwing with field operatives trying to protect the United States of America. It’s about the core idea that America is the enemy.
How do you protect the U.S. if you define it as the enemy? You can’t.
This definition of the U.S. as the enemy — the adversary — explains so much of what NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed. It exposes members of Congress as horrible individuals and elected representatives for doing nothing to prevent it.
For all we know, our elected officials encouraged it.
The entire country has been corrupted by this re-targeting of who is really the enemy. If you are okay having a target on your back then re-elect Mark Udall and Tom Coburn and the rest of these folks who took part in the re-definition. Ask them why they feel this way about you.
As for the NSA, they are not going anywhere. They just need to re-examine their mission and their attitude.
And they need to apologize.
Send a copy of this column to everyone you know.
For aNewDomain.net and the No Agenda Show, I’m John C. Dvorak.
John C. Dvorak is co-founder with Gina Smith and Jerry Pournelle of aNewDomain.net. An award-winning commentator, he discusses these sorts of issues with Adam Curry on the No Agenda Show. Check it out at www.noagendashow.com , and follow John @theRealDvorak. He writes Tech Stock Corner for aNewDomain.