Friday, June 14, 2013

The noise about the NSA is not really news - people just haven't been paying attention

The Google Trends search for the word "NSA" (National Security Agency) has spiked to record levels in recent days. The public seems captivated by the NSA and its activities.

Google search frequency for "NSA"

The NSA contractor Edward Snowden's supposed "leak" makes for some superb headlines, as the mass media creates a buzz around the US government's "snooping". Yet a number of the issues surrounding the NSA activities has been public for nearly a decade. People simply didn't pay attention (or didn't want to pay attention). Right or wrong, the stuff just wasn't sexy enough for the mass media to pick up on a large scale until now.

Starting in the earlier years and working our way to today, here is a sampling of news stories (thanks to Google) which show that a great deal of the noise about the NSA is not really news. Just look at the dates on the left.







Now all of a sudden we have this "revelation" about what the NSA has been doing? It's not surprising that the mass media is generating a great deal of hype around this. Many of the reporters writing on the topic were in high school in 2006. What is sad however is that many in the US Congress act as though they've never heard about it. Ignorance is bliss.

Still think this is "news"? Here is a PBS film on the NSA from May of 2007 called Spying on the Home Front.  Enjoy.
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