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Would the NSA Blackmail Us?

June 21, 2013

The National Security Administration can tap any electronic communication from any location at any time.  That gives them the ability to blackmail most politicians, government officials, members of the press, judges, lawyers, and security personnel.  Would the NSA use such power for their advantage?  I’m asking if the NSA would abuse our trust like other government agencies already have; like the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, and the Department of Justice.  When I ask the question that way, then I’d be a fool to think the NSA is extraordinary.  So, yeah, I think the NSA would use what it knows to its advantage.

But would a US politician abuse that power if he had it under his command?  Some would.  It is the Chicago way of corruption! and (more examples here)

Neither the NSA nor Google has called me to confess their sins, but it is my day job to recognize technical capability and human character.  I expect corruption in the face of temptation.  Any security system that can keep us perfectly safe from external threats can also corrupt our government through internal blackmail.  That is human nature.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.” – John Dalberg Acton


Rob the just

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