Making Sense of NSA Spying, Affordable Care, and Statecraft

Ideas and Issues

 mia_1New Orleans   There are a couple of things that are deeply puzzling to me in reading all of the back-and-forth that involves the National Security Agency (NSA).

            The first is that since it now seems clear that they virtually own the internet and are as good as it comes in web work, why didn’t we ask them for help in making the website for Affordable Care work?

            The second is that if we know in advance most of the talking points of other heads of state and their staffs and embassies, why don’t we do a better job at negotiating settlements successfully?   Of course we are also finding that many of them also spy on us, which makes me wonder again, why both parties don’t do a better job, or is it simply that our interests are so divergent, we only use the information to more successfully figure out a way to “No,” rather than a way to agree?

            Finally, can it really be true that President Obama is moving to curtail NSA spying not because of loud and persistent horror expressed by American citizens, but because of a reported White House meeting with tech poobahs who stridently informed him that they were going to lose billions of dollars in sales in Europe because customers and businesses there no longer trust buying something with a “backdoor” or chip taking them directly to NSA?  Unfortunately, the answer is probably, yes.

            M.I.A., the great British-Sri Lankan, singer, artist, and rapper, might have been ahead of the curve with her lines a couple of years ago in her 1990 song: 


“iPhone connected to the internet

/Connected to the Google/

Connected to the government.”