After Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency was violating the Constitution NSA recruiters seem to be experiencing some hardship. The most recent case involves an NSA recruiter at the University of Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, the National Security Agency called at the University of Wisconsin on a recruitment drive.

Attending the session was Madiha R Tahir, a journalist studying a language course at the university. She asked the squirming recruiters a few uncomfortable questions about the activities of NSA: which countries the agency considers to be “adversaries”, and if being a good liar is a qualification for getting a job at the NSA.

The exchange between the NSA and Tahir was posted to Soundcloud. Tahir also has a great writeup including a transcript on her blog.

The NSA came to recruit at a language program at the University of Wisconsin where I am spending my summer learning a language. Two recruiters, a redhead who looked more like a middle-aged 2013 NSA flyer copymother (listed as “NSA_F” below) and a portly, balding man (“NSA_M”), began to go through slides explaining the NSA and its work…

Roughly half an hour into the session, the exchange below began. I began by asking them how they understood the term “adversary” since the surveillance seems to be far beyond those the American state classifies as enemies, and their understanding of that ties into the recruiters’ earlier statement that “the globe is our playground.”

Apparently the NSA considers everyone in the world an “adversary” and therefore worthy of surveillance.

The exchange should serve as a reminder that for tyranny to triumph good people have to not only remain neutral but participate. The NSA and the rest of the intelligence agencies have gotten a free ride on undeserved good faith. There is something naturally suspicious and illegitimate about spying on people and now, over a decade after the Cold War has ended, it is high time the National Security State justified its existence or was swept away.