[Source: USA Today]
The NSA has already showed itself to be a formidable surveillance agency. Not only can it track massive amounts of information, but it can reach anyone and everything, storing the data indefinitely if it so pleases.
And like all good intelligence agencies it has the ability (and means) to far exceed its boundaries. That’s just the nature of the game. If you give a government agency that much power the chances of things getting out of control become extremely likely.
So it should be no surprise that during the 2002 Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City, the NSA monitored all communications in the area.
Emails and text communication were the prime targets during this intelligence gathering period.
But the NSA didn’t do this on its own; they had help. The FBI and Qwest Communications International Inc. were also in on it.
Apparently, the agreement was for Qwest to allow the FBI and NSA to use interception equipment for a period of six months. The “interception equipment” was used to monitor all Salt Lake City communications. And might I add that Qwest agreed to this.
Now granted this was after 9/11, so there was a legitimate threat, but still, that doesn’t negate what took place; an entire city was under surveillance for six months.
I don’t know what’s more disturbing; the fact that Qwest let them do this, or that the NSA has the capability to monitor an entire city.
Think about the possibilities
What if a city was experiencing extensive riots, or even revolting? The NSA could be called in to “stay on top of things.”
What if the government decides that a certain section of the population is a danger to national security?
What if we experience another major terrorist attack (Heaven forbid)?
The situations are endless, and the scale of the NSA’s reach is so massive that it would make most of them sound realistic.
And all it would take is for one politician to see the light (then you’d really be in a surveillance state).
The ability to monitor an entire city should never be in the hands of the government (or anyone for that matter). But it seems America has reached that point already… while you and I were sleeping.