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POLICE STATE / MILITARY -
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Corporations, The National Security Agency and Their "Customers"

Posted in the database on Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 @ 15:05:05 MST (966 views)
by Bill Willers    Common Dreams  

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On January 4, the New York Times reported on recently declassified information revealing that, following the 9-11 attack, the National Security Agency (NSA) had acted on its own authority to expand surveillance of citizens inside the U.S. Recent revelations of such governmental spying have generated strong reaction from both Right and Left, and properly so. But there is little attention regarding the private sector and its surveillance of citizens.

Go to the NSA’s website, and click on the word “Business” to get to a page titled “Introduction to Business”. There you read, “The National Security Agency recognizes and understands the importance of industry alliances to achieve its goals and objectives. NSA created an Acquisition Organization - an organization focused on working closely with U.S. industry to help integrate technology forecasts and assess the rate of market implementation. NSA continues to broaden collaborative partnerships with industry and academia to maximize the return from technology efforts; … As NSA continues on its path to transform the U.S. Cryptologic System, the Acquisition Organization must continuously modernize and improve the acquisition process by implementing best business practices to satisfy mission needs; … Today the Agency relies more and more on the commercial marketplace for its solutions.”

Clicking on Acquisition Organization takes you to a short page where you read “Our goals are focused on the following: Customer - improve customer satisfaction (national decision makers and military commanders) … “. Oh my.

This collective of NSA plus the corporate sector is clear as to whom it serves, and “we the people” do not appear in its list. Imagine where dissenters might fit - peace activists and anyone else in disagreement with administrative, military, or other governmental “customers”.

But even administrations come and go, while corporations, those mythical “persons”, are theoretically eternal. As the late Gaylord Nelson warned nearly half a century ago, corporations had already become so powerful as to “make a Roman emperor gasp”. As their strength has continued to grow well beyond much of world government, as their ownership of media, and hence their ability to mold public perceptions, has increased, and as their lobbyists who outnumber our legislators 56-to-one now insert their wording into legislation, citizen unrest and opposition is on the increase.

Fascism, the word, was coined by the Italians, and no one has articulated its most fundamental feature more succinctly than Benito Mussolini with his often quoted comment: "Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is a merger of state and corporate power." The corporate sector is clearly what is alluded to by the NSA on its website.

Citizen unrest and criticism is an increasing threat to corporate power. How might corporate abilities to spy, abilities now sophisticated almost beyond imagination, be directed toward critics of their various activities? And how might they retaliate? In an environment veiled in corporate secrecy and free of the theoretical restraints posed by a governmental system of checks and balances, where would they draw the line? Would they even consider a line? Does anyone know?

Bill Willers is Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. E-mail to: willers@charter.net



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