The real concern here is that what this huge organization is actually watching and listening in for is to find and eliminate undesirables. This broad, sweeping term basically means anyone the people behind the curtain don’t align with, this could be political opponents, rival companies or corporations who appear to be getting the upper hand, possible whistleblowers of anything the government wishes to remain left in the dark, the list goes on. What the conspiracy theorists want us to believe is that any one of us can one day become an undesirable. Once this happens using not only the means we’ve explored already but looking into social media and ‘hacking’ phones can result in a breach of security for any individual, here is where people go missing or end up in ‘accidents’. This may seem to be a pie in the sky, tin foil hat level theory but more than enough coincidences have occurred. Government actions aren’t always correct, take the story of Frank Olson for example. The shady actions and intentions behind the NSA and CIA will remain just that, because they are allowed to be kept secret.

A huge part of that secret is the budget that they are assigned. Currently classified, these giant institutes with equipment and agents all over the globe obviously don’t come under the economy banner. In 2013 the budget for the NSA program was estimated at $10.8 Billion. Bear in mind that this was the same year that the Snowden leaks happened, no doubt urging teams and tactics to completely re-haul some of their work and completely change their tactics in the areas they were outed. Add this to the increase in encryption technology, the rise of crypto currency, and the growing number of computer-smart adversaries whether neo-terrorists or aforementioned undesirable clusters – and its safe to assume 2018’s budget will be significantly higher than this figure. This is not a small amount of money. This number is higher than the GDP of smaller and less developed nations, which means the money spent on hiring the staff, cleaning the office and building the programs that listen in your phone conversations could instead literally support an entire country.

In addition, poverty is still rife in countless places on American soil. Great tragedies that affect numerous lives such as the water crisis in Flint, MI need extra funding and attention.

How can the same government justify spending such incredible funds on a cause that as far as anyone can see is barely credible?

Orwell’s vision was unfortunately for us; remarkably accurate. Our privacy is something that is not only bought and sold by questionable companies behind the brands we trust, but also something the very institute put in place to serve its citizens is abusing. Where do we go from here? Should our devices stop coming pre-packaged with cameras? Should the option to be spied upon be somewhere in writing when we purchase a new gadget? Or should we come together to demand transparency, and rally to keep our private lives exactly that; private. The problem here is that under the pretense of anti-terror as long as enough people remain afraid, the NSA and other companies will be given a free pass to do whatever is necessary, lawful or not. So maybe we should be asking, have the terrorists already won?