Privacy: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the NSA, as it enters every computer and pries whatever data can be stolen and recorded in perpetuity. Its ongoing mission: to explore the internet and all TCP/IP packets, to seek out new emails, phone records, backdoors, webcams and bank accounts, to boldly go where no man with or without a search warrant has gone before.
Those who will recall our brief biopic on the “Meet The Man In Charge Of America’s Secret Cyber Army” remember that before Keith Alexander was put in charge of the NSA, he “was a one-star general in charge of the Army Intelligence and Security Command, the military’s worldwide network of 10,700 spies and eavesdroppers. In March of that year he told his hometown Syracuse newspaper that his job was to discover threats to the country. “We have to stay out in front of our adversary,” Alexander said. “It’s a chess game, and you don’t want to lose this one.” But just six months later, Alexander and the rest of the American intelligence community suffered a devastating defeat when they were surprised by the attacks on 9/11. Following the assault, he ordered his Army intercept operators to begin illegally monitoring the phone calls and email of American citizens who had nothing to do with terrorism, including intimate calls between journalists and their spouses. Congress later gave retroactive immunity to the telecoms that assisted the government.”
That much is known. What may come as a surprise is that during his tenure at the AISC, Alexander made it quite clear that he perceived himself as none other than Star Trek’s James T. Kirk, or to a lesser extent, Jean-Luc Piccard, if only based on how he decorated his “office” – the amusingly titled “Information Dominance Center.” Amusingly, because said information dominance failed completely to foresee the events of September 11.