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NSA: What if they just want the money?

On the NSA and Snowden hub-bub:

Many or most here like to think of the nefarious intentions of the NSA tracking our locations and getting into our privacy, presumably to oppress us somehow. Spy on us!

The supporters of the government believe that they are analyzing data for our security, catching bad guys before they act, and we best well have it!

But what if they don't care about us? Like don't care about spying on us and don't care if we are safe?

What if they just want the money?

Imagine this:

National security programs are a great thing for congressmen to secure funding for; abstract, no specific outcomes, but scary to the populace.

The organization, with a budget they have to use and jobs they have to perform to keep, has to do something to justify their jobs and budget.

Some tech companies like maybe Accenture or HP have long had 'big data' proposals out with them, perhaps with a juicy hardware sale of in-memory analytics appliances. The Boston bombing is the perfect political capital to get the deal closed.

The analysis is mostly network analysis (looking at connections) or something. Actually mining the content (i.e., crunching the text and voice) on such a data store is still hard to do on such a large file.

They begin with the phone records et al not thinking anybody will care. There's no outcome anyways since the best the govt can do to find terrorists is make us take off our shoes at airports and frisk old ladies.

All they are making are a series of reports that nobody can take action on. Lots of pages and graphs which get shoved in a binder and filed under 'security' to forever collect dust on a shelf with a million other like reports. Just a mess of confusing incompetency and useless busy work to justify jobs and contracts.

Other legislators like Rand Paul types jump on the privacy invasion, rightly and thankfully so, but also for their own headlines. (forgive me)

The whole thing goes down without one sinister intention by anyone involved, but the effect is in itself sinister and growth of a surveillance state, even though there is not a single villain twirling his mustache.

They don't care about us either way. They just wanted to look busy, get the money (our money), keep their jobs, and sustain their livelihood.

Wouldn't that be wholesale unsatisfying?

No evil intentions, no bad guys who want the information and power. Just the money. And maybe not even that much. Most involved are just guys in coffee stained shirts in windowless offices. Drive their Hondas to their small DC area homes. Have to mow their postage stamp lawns themselves. Wife works. Two weeks vacation type of sh*. Not the congressmen or contractors of course, but most of the people pushing this forward.

Apply this thinking to the war and everything else the government does and it is crazy sad. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the whole of it.