The National Security Agency has built a constellation of computer processing facilities and supported development of super-computers to process telecommunications and Internet data at a speed faster than a quadrillion calculations per second with a goal of processing a quintillion operations per second (an exaflop). The rationale is to discover terrorist communications existentially by sorting through all of the world’s telecommunications. Hundreds of billions of tax dollars are spent to locate a few Arabs with boxcutters-not to design an electromagnetic off-world linear space vehicle launcher, design a super-conducting interstate highway system or model economic full employment conditions for Americans. Needless to say no amount of computer processing capacity will inform the U.S. Government how to prevent illegal entry through its national borders.
One may guess that although modern urban structures have been enfiladed as flimsy and unable to withstand significant extra-normal stress in order to save construction cost and increase proplits, and no building plans for foliage covered buildings shaped as small, tough mountain ranges are scheduled for construction, the N.S.A. is neither set to discover encrypted messages written atom by atom or time-restructuring nano-bit messages placed in Fedex envelopes that might carry messages from the frontier of seriously evil applications of science to meglomaniacal conspirators.
The N.S.A. is building over-kill into reading the planet’s email and listening to cell phones in order to defeat comparatively primitive perps that might be halted by other means such as competent physical defenses and a new national construction and agronomic ecological economic infrastructure could bring.
Because much of the invasive data acquired by the N.S.A. is outsourced to private and foreign corporations the information is distributed globally as well helping to build a new Orwellian evil empire. The Government should rethink some of its priorities and intentionally invest in economic and environmentally constructive construction and computation too.