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The NSA and CIA – The Greatest Intelligence Gathering Units on the Planet


These days, privacy rights have been a subject of major discussions and debate. Surely, people have rights to privacy, however, the march technology has made that right somewhat academic or theoretical. It is estimated that by the end of 2017, over 4.77 billion people will have personal phones which is a 62.9% increase from what was recorded in 2016. From this population, China and India are expected to have over 2.5 billion of them. With 327 million, the United States is expected to be third, while Pakistan is expected to record figures in the region of 125million. Even countries that don’t have a proper structured government, such as Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Mali etc, all have mobile network operators. There are approximately 4 billion users of the internet today, about 44.8% of them are in Asia, Europe and North America are expected to record 21.5 and 11.4 percent of the population respectively. Obviously, this increase implies better communication with other people. This led to a new era of business known as the communication era. The best part is that with a hand-size smart phone you can do more things with it than the PCs of 6 years ago. You can shop from another continent and send to another continent while in a different continent.
 
There are also some negative effects of this technological advancement. A terrorist can use it to detonate a bomb in a country far away from his/her location with just a simple call. This means criminals no longer have to manually carry out their crimes, it is now a lot easier for them because they can commit crimes without having to stress themselves. This modern advancement has its own brings its own fair share of problems to the human society and just as it has always been, countries that have the financial and technical means will always rise to the challenge. This technology also has its issues, especially when it comes to the common man and the protection of his privacy. The communication process with phones involves the transfer or exchange of information (sometimes personal) to other people via the air and this transfer at any point in time could be intercepted by anyone with the right resources and technical know-how. The information netted during exchange or transfer are usually netted in large quantities and with the help of supercomputers, these data can be decoded, detected and unraveled through a more detailed analysis of the call pattern (incoming and outgoing).
 
More so, private investors and business organizations also gain access to this information. The fact that the information is passed through a mobile network provider and or internet provider means the data is decoded into digital and voice data from its original electronic blip format. There was a case of Amar Singh CDs from a few years ago, which titillated several lowbrow conversations and graphic content. There were also the Radia tapes episodes where people were privy to the machinations of the Tata’s corporate lobbyist in the national capital fixing policy, ministers and important media personnel fixing. Another aspect of viewing a mobile phone is as a personalized GPS system, in that the location of the phone can be detected at any point in time – this could be a good and a bad thing at the same time. The coordinate provided by Awlaki’s mobile phone was used by the CIA when they made use of the Predator drone to fly over Yemen and blow up the Anwar el-Awlakis and the Al Qaeda terrorist groups.
 
Your current location can be detected by your network provider and other interested parties as long as you have the phone on you. It could also give out information on where you are headed because your movement can also be monitored though the directional change of the coordinates supplied by your phone. It is often beneficial for security purposes and as well, it could be a giveaway in instances where you wouldn’t want to be tracked. Osama bin Laden was eventually located thanks to his coordinates provided by a phone. All that was needed was a name gleaned from a long ago water boarding session and a momentary indiscretion by a trusted courier and bodyguard. The credit for this has to go to the National Security Agency (NSA) for its eavesdropping mission, which includes Rio broadcasting (individual and organization), calls, internet and other intercepted communications satellites. The satellites which the high –tech NSA make use of to gather intelligence are 4 geostationary satellites which are capable of tracking millions of discussions with the help of its extremely fast supercomputers. These high speed computers are capable of processing the message patterns; identify the patterns that require further investigation.
 
There are installations made by the NSA in several states within the US and these installations are capable of intercepting electronic data at regular intervals from Asia, Latin America, North Africa, West Asia, and Europe. This information is made available to friendly governments around the globe upon request. The Chinese and Russian SIGINT also have the capacity to pry on people even though they may not be as powerful as the US NIP. The Washington post published that billions of emails, calls and other communication modes are gathered and stored everyday by the NSA. A fraction of them is then sorted into 70 different databases. The NSA has also been said to be heavily involved in cryptanalytic research along with the CSS. Together, they continue with the work of old organizations that were able to break down numerous World War II codes and ciphers. The CIA and the NSA together are clearly the greatest intelligence gathering establishments on the planet. Their resources (financial and human) are quite remarkable. The US NIP in 2015 ha a budget of $80 billion, which shows their determination to avoid a recurrence of the 9/11 tragedy.