On Wednesday, the UK Guardian and Washington Post broke the story on a covert national security operation called Prism. Prism is a data mining process in which information is collected by the National Security Agency via direct connection through tech company servers or from data transfer infrastructure such as cables and over air transmission. Tech companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft have summarily dismissed any involvement with the NSA. However, confidential PowerPoint slides acquired by the Guardian indicate that the NSA has in fact mined data directly from their servers.
The lies and deceptions are smoke, which almost always leads to a fire. This fire is merging with the other scandals burning in Washington. And they may be tied at some injudicious level.
As one would correctly assume, and how the government portrays it, Prism was meant originally as a means to collect data from data traffic to analyze it for possible connections to terrorist activity. However, in lieu of the recent IRS targeting of conservative groups, along with other government targeting by the EPA, OSHA, and FBI, Prism may be a means in which the administration collects data in order to harass conservative groups, companies, and individuals. If this is the case, it would make Nixon’s “Enemy List” look like a line-up from Hollywood Squares.
Speculation is all over the place, but this is the most probable way it would work. As information is collected by the NSA, true terroristic activity is filtered from the general data stream. This information is used for its intended purpose; to infiltrate and dismantle those activities. However, the remainder of collected data is filtered again using buzz-words that indicate ties to conservative ideals. The IRS used buzz-words such as “patriot” and “Tea Party” in its targeting of conservative non-profit groups.
When those organizations, companies, and individuals are found to be deeply entrenched in conservative causes or candidates, they are referred to other governmental regulatory agencies, which most closely match the entity’s profile by the NSA. There they are scrutinized further and made to comply with unreasonable requests or face fines, litigation, or even disbandment.
Essentially, this method is a form of extortion; not extortion in its original sense of stealing money, but stealing dignity in the hope that those entities will stand down from their stance on conservatism. Is it any wonder that the aforementioned tech companies flatly deny their involvement with the NSA and Prism? They too may become victims of this Orwellian monster. However, it is conservatism, which is the only force that can defeat the kind of tyranny emerging from within the administration.
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