“_The Lives of Others_, a movie about East Germany’s Stasi secret police, shows government agents listening to people’s phone calls in real time to try to determine whether they’re subversive ‘enemies of the state’.
“The NSA works differently. Their system is automated, a product of the 21st-century ‘big data’ model used by Silicon Valley companies like Facebook. The NSA’s goal is to gather every fact, every communication, about everybody on Earth.” (p 33)
“If, on the other hand, you see the United States as a militaristic empire out to conquer most of the world and dominate the rest, defined by a long history of genocide, systemic racism, and ruthless suppression of dissent, then you probably think that the government can’t be trusted.” (p 187)
“It’s our information, and they’re stealing it. And they’re spending our tax dollars to do it.
“NSA defenders say privacy was already dead, that we share our private lives with private corporations. But no corporation has ever kicked down people’s doors, shoved them onto trains, and shipped them to concentration camps.
“Only governments have done that.” (p 193)
- “Ex-snoop confirms Echelon Network,” CBS News 60 Minutes, February 24, 2000. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-snoop-confirms-echelon-network
- “Before Snowden: The Whistleblowers Who Tried to Lift the Veil,” by David Welna, NPR, July 22, 2014. http://www.npr.org/2014/07/22/333741495/before-snowden-the-whistleblowers-who-tried-to-lift-the-veil