Freedom isn’t free. The National Security Agency along with the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies of the U.S. government has been swapping information with private companies. In exchange for private companies giving the intelligence agencies information on their users, the private companies receive access to classified intelligence. The Corporate State indeed.
Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.
These programs, whose participants are known as trusted partners, extend far beyond what was revealed by Edward Snowden, a computer technician who did work for the National Security Agency. The role of private companies has come under intense scrutiny since his disclosure this month that the NSA is collecting millions of U.S. residents’ telephone records and the computer communications of foreigners from Google Inc (GOOG). and other Internet companies under court order.
No wonder the tech firms did not complain about spying on American citizens, they were getting compensation in the form of access to classified intel. So now Wall Street gets to see classified intelligence? No wonder there were no prosecutions, they’re on the team. Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Jail, and too important to National Security.
Along with the NSA, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and branches of the U.S. military have agreements with such companies to gather data that might seem innocuous but could be highly useful in the hands of U.S. intelligence or cyber warfare units, according to the people, who have either worked for the government or are in companies that have these accords.
Need more evidence the Surveillance State is all about protecting and expanding the power of the 1%?
Some U.S. telecommunications companies willingly provide intelligence agencies with access to facilities and data offshore that would require a judge’s order if it were done in the U.S., one of the four people said. In these cases, no oversight is necessary under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and companies are providing the information voluntarily.
The extensive cooperation between commercial companies and intelligence agencies is legal and reaches deeply into many aspects of everyday life, though little of it is scrutinized by more than a small number of lawyers, company leaders and spies. Company executives are motivated by a desire to help the national defense as well as to help their own companies, said the people, who are familiar with the agreements.
This has obviously gotten completely out of control – which is what usually happens when secret unaccountable power is allowed to fester. The corruption of the American Constitution is now septic beyond repair. Today, a cabal of rich and powerful (bailed out) corporations have partnered with intelligence agencies run by rich and powerful politicians to spy on the non-rich and powerless. How is this not some new form of feudalism? How is this not grounds for revolt under the Constitution?
America has, arguably, always been a commercial oligarchy posing as a republic. James Madison, author of the Constitution, said the reason government exists is to prevent democracy and protect the opulent minority against the majority. But there was also a built in understanding – the Bill of Rights – that the rich oligarchs who ran the place would not be allowed to oppress the majority completely. That has been invalidated by the intelligence agencies and the corporatocracy deciding, in secret, to destroy the Bill of Rights. Without the Bill of Rights, American citizens are nothing but slaves to the wealthy.