The edge of the abyss: exposing the NSA’s all-seeing machine
“I know the capability that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.” Senator Frank Church on Meet The Press, 1975
On November 4th, 1952, a new federal agency was created in secret, chartered with spying on foreign adversaries around the world. There was no mention in the press. There was no discussion on the floor of Congress. The existence of the agency appeared nowhere in the Federal Register.
Since then, much of what the public knows about the National Security Agency has been the stuff of Sneakers and West Wing legend. Its budget — part of the secretive US “black budget” — is largely unknown. The NSA has even been nicknamed “No Such Agency” because of its extreme secrecy. Its headquarters, located in Fort Meade, Maryland, literally resembles a giant black box.
But this year, the box was cracked open…
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