NSA SHOULD OUTSORCE SPYING
IF THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN DO OT BETTER, WHY NOT?
If you are a regular here, you know my views about our paternalistic corporate partners who follow our daily living activities to the point of knowing where we are every moment of every day. It used to be that after purchasing an item online from Amazon, let’s say a set of pastry brushes, a couple of days later I would see ads over there on the right in small pop-up windows trying to sell me a different brand of brushes or telling me that natural boar hair brushes were really superior to the silicone ones I had purchased.
Fast forward to today and my snagging a reservation at a Fort Myers Beach inn for last week’s trip and three minutes later not only do I see ads on my Facebook page extolling the virtues of hotels and inns I looked at but didn’t select but as a result of some marketing rationale that escapes me at the moment, also ads for the very place we stayed – the Neptune Inn – from three different booking companies.
So with the scandalous revelations of the OPM 20 million customer breach of past, existing and future employee data, including, I might add, confidential information supplied for security clearance applications that OPM has handled for twenty years, it occurs to me that maybe the government – the FBI, CIA and NSA - ought to consider hiring private firms to do their mandated spy tasks. Look, if Expedia can sell my data in a nanosecond to Facebook (the Fort Myers accommodations) it seems to me that it might be efficient for our spy agencies to simply outsource their monitoring and spying functions.
Also, as our 40th President, Ronald Reagan drummed into the collective consciousness of the entire American public from 1980 until 1988 “Government isn’t the solution, government is the problem” and we are still operating on this clever aphorism today, exactly thirty-five years later. Every single Republican candidate for the Presidential election in 2016 is saying exactly the same thing. It’s simply a truism among Republicans and since they are the paragons of economic thriftiness and governmental efficiency how can we argue with them?
I know – you’re going to say that the private sector has also had a few minor difficulties when it comes to securing our personal information. Target and Bank of America come to mind in this regard but my recommendation that the private sector take over our national spying activities does take these small slip-ups into account. Here’s how. The private sector doesn’t have to go to Congress to increase their security budgets nor do they have to wait years for new regulations to be crafted by some Federal agency that says what NSA, the FBI and the CIA can and cannot use the money for or what they can and cannot do. Our private companies can do whatever the hell they want with the money they collect from selling our data to other companies and to the government. This, in comparison to government, is one of the hallmarks of the private sector, speed and efficiency.
How would my proposed turnover of our national spying functions to Google, Yahoo, Amazon and Google take place? Easy. All we need is a bill in Congress to say that it is America’s best security interests to outsource the monitoring of our daily activities to the private sector. And from my experience, NSA’s “meta data” can’t hold a candle to Google’s vast cache of personal data that the world’s largest company collects, manipulates, sells and stores on each and every one of us Americans and a large portion of the world’s seven billion folks.
Blowback? Okay, maybe Bernie Sanders would object but as a pro-socialist, that’s just one of his personal idiosyncrasies. Donald Trump? I don’t think so since Google, Amazon and Yahoo already know where every single alien is and what he or she purchases unlike the NSA and the FBI who don’t seem to have a clue about where our illegals are, what they are doing or how many tacos they’ve bought during the last month. Since I haven’t heard a tremendous outpouring of public outrage about how much personal data our corporate partners posses about all of us and the only gnashing of teeth and threats of succession from the right wing have been exclusively directed towards the Federal Government since the Snowden revelations, its my best guess that the outsourcing of spying to the private sector will cause nary a ripple on Fox News or Rush’s afternoon radio program.