Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What is national security?

Something to consider about the NSA surveillance.
It is not enough to have the SMS messages or the text of email messages for the purposes of national security. The NSA will also need the file attachments to extract any information from those; otherwise, the terrorists will just move over to sending jpgs or gifs or exe or doc or png or bin or tgz file as their communication.

These files will need to be stored, searchable, analyzed, and maintained for downloading into other databases and storage. This means the NSA will not only need huge storage and processing facilities, but it will also have a practically complete collection of every attachment sent or retrieved in the US as well as every MMS image or picture (again, otherwise terrorists will just send their communication in the form of snapchat pictures) sent over the telecom networks.

So, in the interests of national security, the NSA must have every evidence needed to not only prosecute such incidents as the Steubenville rape but will also have this evidence in a searchable, accessible format. They will not only have the network of individuals already available, but origination data of the pictures as well as their propagation through the social networks of these individuals. In such situations, a prosecutor can then identify who captured the image and a defense attorney can also use this evidence to argue a client was not possibly present for the incident, given the data associated for where the phone was when it downloaded and retrieved the image. The data must be able to support this kind of investigative work, for otherwise it is useless for the express purpose of identifying terrorists' social networks.

Thus, this database can be very useful for the local prosecution of rapes and many acts of violence that people then disseminate in the form of MMS videos/pictures, or for the local prosecution of other kinds of financial or bureaucratic crimes occurring over email. This information is also very useful for establishing the innocence of individuals wrongly or erroneously charged.

Local law enforcement should, therefore, have access to these, because the incidents of violent crime or financial or fraudulent crimes vastly outweigh in quantity, scope, and economic and social damage the incidents of foreign and domestic terrorism the US has suffered since this data collection began.

But, if the database is not made accessible and searchable to local law enforcement, then either this is due to the technical impossibility of it (highly unlikely, since that means it is no longer useful to analysts in the field) or the need to maintain "national security."

Now, national insecurity is usually defined as an on-going or persistent threat of instability caused by terroristic acts, which are themselves simply criminal actions performed under the guise of an ideological purpose. Thus, any one terroristic act is actually a criminal act, causing the same damages to society and to economy as if the act were performed without any explicit ideological purpose. Even then, some terroristic acts carried with an ideological purpose, for instance when someone bombs an abortion clinic or murders a married set of lesbians, are not prosecuted as terroristic acts, but as criminal acts having the same damages as though they were performed without any explicit ideological purpose.

Thus, if national security is necessary to prevent damage to society and to economy, then it ought to include all such incidents of damage to society and to economy, particularly the far more numerous incidents of murder, rape, fraud, and financial crimes occurring without any explicit ideological purpose, which are causing far more damage to society and to economy at the local level throughout the US.

Unless, that is, national security has actually nothing to do with the actual prevention and prosecution of specific acts resulting in damage to society and to economy.

Nor, that is, with anything to do with having the largest collection of child porn gathered from eaves-dropping on the sexts of the US population, a large collection that is searchable, analyzed, and catalogued for relevancy.

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