Yes, I know it's awful. It's also awful that it was a semi-open secret in IT circles that the main Web 2.0 outfits had had visits from various spookfolk a couple years ago, but whenever the talk turned to Backdoor Implementations, Personal Data Partnerships and so forth, ppl would look at you like you were a UFOlogist or a 9/11-denier. So there was an awful, grim sense of inevitability to the story when it finally broke.
Plus: I'm also deeply suspicious of Snowden. I mean, he's not exactly a fucking sentinel of freedom, is he? "Leakers should be shot in the balls," - really? I see him more as a petty, self-entitled Disenfranchised Bureaucrat type - someone we might recognise from an old short story by Kafka / Gogol / Dick than a whistleblower whose heartfelt values and ideals finally got the better of him - the kinda guy who, for some reason, decides to fuck over his employers in a mutually-assured destruction move when he gets passed over for promotion or a pay-rise.
Still, all my moaning aside, the sheer scope of the NSA's ambition - and arrogance - is pretty damn breath-taking. This made me spit out me rice-puffs over breakfast this morning:
"The golden age of signals intelligence".
There's a bit of cross-chain story-linking here, but still worth a read:
"Anyone, anywhere, anytime".
*shrugs* "whatchagonnado?" Indeed.
Reading those two pieces made me remember one of the linkages that I've been meaning to write about for weeks - pretty much since the first wave of Snowden's cache of info surfaced, in fact:
Firstly, the NSA documents were Powerpoint slides. Which made me think, straightaway, FFS.
Then when you started reading the damn stuff, the thing that struck me with as much - if not more - horror than the actual non-revelations that *gasp* they might be spying on some of us - was the wide use of ManagementSpeak.
Fuck me; anyone who's ever worked in an office, for a service chain or in the public sector would recognise that tone of 'voice', the choice of bullshit buzzphrases; goals, opportunities, sectors, partnerships, blahblahblah. The horror, the horror...
We're being spied on by the UK (and US) Management Class.
Now, compare and contrast that with the John le Carré / Smiley Oxbridge-educated post-war spy brigade. When did the Management Class - the fuckers who've wrecked Health, Education and Christknowswhatelse in this country - carry out a coup in the Intelligence Services? They're like a fucking parasitic infection, these people.
Now we can see Signals Intelligence Collection for what it is - just another business, like everything else. No wonder the NSA and GCHQ fitted so well with Google, Facebook, etc and formed 'partnerships'... they had synergistic businesses. I'm betting in some circumstances, bullying was not even required; a straightforward palm-greasing financial transaction facilitated access to servers and cables. And, even if money didn't change hands, then if you're a compliant government 'partner', then you're practically guaranteed a nice little monopoly, aren't you?
These two latest pieces are riddled with numerous examples of ManagementSpeak:
"...the global commercial encryption market through commercial relationships..."
"...the need to revolutionize analysis of our vast collections of data in order to radically increase operational impact..."
Play this game at home, kids:
Spot the Management Class Spooks.