Today at 10 a.m., we’re talking about what our guest Shane Harris called “the rise of the surveillance society.” He says the arsenal of spying techniques and equipment used by the federal government to track terrorist and outside threats is now turned on U.S. citizens. Folks like you and me.
The N.S.A. created what one senior Bush administration official later described as a “mirror” of AT&T’s databases, which allowed ready access to the personal communications moving over much of the country’s telecom infrastructure. The N.S.A. fed its bounty into software that created a dizzying social-network diagram of interconnected points and lines. The agency’s software geeks called it “the BAG,” which stood for “big ass graph.”
Today, this global surveillance system continues to grow. It now collects so much digital detritus — e-mails, calls, text messages, cellphone location data and a catalog of computer viruses — that the N.S.A. is building a 1-million-square-foot facility in the Utah desert to store and process it.
–Stephanie Curtist, social media host