An Open Letter to the NSA

Dear massive government intelligence agency,

How are you? I am fine. I hear on the news that you seem to be busy. The report says that we have noticed a lot of chatter amongst the terrorists. There is as much, said the report, as was before 11 September 2001. That must be a lot.

My question is, if we noticed that much traffic in 2001, why weren’t we ready to do something on 11 September 2001?

I know that people who want to record all Internet and voice traffic want to have a good reason to do so, because otherwise it looks like a set of tools to preserve the power of the status quo in the face of the oppressed classes. Being able to say, “See? We have a big terror threat!” certainly looks like a good reason. I have to question if it’s an engineered solution, though, given that we are recently asking many questions regarding both its necessity and efficacy.

You know very well where I stand on this issue. I try to speak clearly whenever I’m near the lamp by my bedside. I know I’m not so good with voice activation software, but I am making an effort in this case. But if you’re going to record everything I say and do, I need to do what I can to not generate a false positive by trying to obscure what it is I’m doing.

Of course, lots of people disagree with me and they have increased their use of encryption and personal privacy measures in the last few weeks and, say… wait a minute… is it possible that the recent spike in people using tools to evade constant recording has triggered a false positive? That might be something worth checking out. I know a lot of Americans don’t want another 9/11, but there seem to be four other numbers they don’t want: 1984.

I don’t want either, but it looks like we’re stuck with one in the name of preventing the other. As I said quite clearly to the toaster the other day, I’m concerned more with survival than resistance. You know full well from what I said near the medicine cabinet that I see opposing the US government’s surveillance regime would be as wise and as successful as opposing the Soviet Union’s surveillance regime. And you know from posts here and many of my unpublished writings that only you, I, and my PC know about that I’ve researched well the KGB and what it did to those that went against it. That’s not for me, I assure you.

But at the risk of sounding sympathetic to the (potential) political dissidents using encryption now more than ever before, it’s quite possible that they are doing the same things they’ve always done, but now with encryption. They may just be using encryption out of fear and respect for your powers than they are to try and do anything subversive. If the fallout from Snowden’s revelations is the cause of the “spike in chatter,” it would be worth checking out so there’s no correlated, unjustified spike in Pakistani wedding reception fatalities.

As I’ve repeated time and again in front of my bedroom mirror, all Pakistani wedding reception fatalities should be justified. It makes you guys look bad when that happens. And, as I alluded to earlier, you’ve already got a big black eye from failing to do anything useful with the spike in chatter from 2001. It would be a darn shame – and quite embarrassing – for you guys to have made a bad call this time around because of freedom-loving Americans foolishly forgetting that loving freedom means hating security state apparatus.

I hope this helps. All I ask for a reward is that you’ll not do a false flag operation to justify all this in the likely event that I’m right and this spike in chatter is actually due to the increased use of domestic encryption. You know very well that false flag operations always get exposed, and while such exposes provide a huge boost to the tinfoil industry, they hardly do any wonders for your credibility.

So why say all this in public when you and I know full well that the ornament on the pull-chain for my dining room ceiling fan is practically a hot line to [REDACTED]? You should know by now that I do like an audience. More than that, I *do* have an audience, no matter how small, and I’d like to suggest a solution that you and they might all get along with. Why curse the darkness when I can light a candle, right?

Here’s the idea: democracy via observation.

You’ve got us all under constant surveillance, right? Why not make it work for the nation? You know exactly how many people smoke dope, right? Why not report on that, so we know where to legalize it in order to keep the people happy. Google is trying to do what you’re doing: what if you were to share your database with *them* in order to really pinpoint the right kind of ads every person would have a high rate of desiring to respond to and block all the rest? I would *want* to turn off my ad-blocker software in that case. You guys know what everyone thinks of the president and Congress, right? You could use that information to find us some decent candidates that we’d actually want to vote for in the next election. People are already using their constant tracking in cell phones to report where roads and bridges need major repairs – why not join with that popular upswelling of democracy via observation and get us the kind of government we really want?

Who’s to say that George Orwell’s vision of dystopia is the last word in surveillance? If we had democracy via observation, everyone would *want* to reveal all to the lamps beside their beds and would drop encryption like a hot potato. That way, the only people still using encryption would be either terrorists or paranoids. Or paranoid terrorists. The paranoids will be the ones that have the biggest and best weapons, so ignore them. The rest are terrorists, so round them up and problem solved!

So, to recap… you guys in the NSA could stand to have some good PR. People are afraid of you being one of several dark forces putting the USA under an Orwellian shadow. This could lead to lots of false positives in the War on Terror. I’m suggesting a democracy via observation campaign so that people will want to be under constant surveillance. Quite a few paranoids think that the NSA and associated intelligence agencies are running the US government. If they’re right, why not get us a better government?

I think you guys in the NSA are all aces, and that you can do what you have to do to pull this off. I’m sure the biometric sensors in my chair are picking up an increased body warmth that goes with the surge of patriotism I’m experiencing, so you know I’m not lying. I believe in you guys: you can use constant surveillance to give us the best democracy the world has ever seen.

Otherwise, what would be the point in having it in a place like the USA?

Anyway, I need to [REDACTED]. You guys stay [REDACTED] and say hi to [REDACTED] for me. Tell [REDACTED] that the auto-redacting software is working perfectly. Watch this: [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] mozarella [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] eyeliner [REDACTED]. Oops! Looks like a few things slipped through there. I’ll be happy to beta-test the next [REDACTED] of the auto-redacting software.

Yours [REDACTED],

Dean

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