Sunday, June 16, 2013

How to Improve NSA Surveillance

Despite the uproar, there's little chance of changing the scope and extent of NSA surveillance of Americans.  No politician wants to be blamed if there's another Boston Marathon-type bombing.  So they'll hide behind the usual gridlock and do nothing. 

That being the case, we might as well make the most of NSA's surveillance.  After all, it's being done on the taxpayer's dime, and taxpayers ought to get their money's worth.  Here are some ways NSA can make 'round the clock surveillance a better experience for all of us.

Package Delivery.  Since NSA knows where you are at all times, it could run a great delivery service.  Let's say you're on the road and forgot to bring your cellphone recharger.  An NSA courier could be dispatched with a new recharger in a flash.  And they'd want to make this delivery.  After all, it's harder to keep track of you if your cell phone battery is dead. 

And if you're traveling with a small child and need is a package of disposable diapers and some wipes, NSA could deliver them for a modest fee, even to the highway rest stop where you discovered what you forgot to pack.  This would not only please many a distressed parental taxpayer, it would also give NSA a stream of fee revenue that could supplement its multi-billion dollar budget. 

Chatline.  There are many lonely people, and NSA may be among the few that care to listen in on their phone calls.  Perhaps NSA could operate chatlines, to help the lonely find companionship.  Maybe NSA will get lucky and a frustrated terrorist will unburden himself on a chatline, confessing to having fantasies about pressure cookers. 

Dating Service.  If you're single, NSA already knows how bad your personal life is.  They know everything about you--and everyone else.  Since they know so much, they might as well operate a dating service.  With all that they know, they should be able to find the perfect match for you in only three nanoseconds of processing time on their massive supercomputers.

Grocery Shopping.  NSA could doing your grocery shopping and bill your bank account, all without you having to do more than tell them your grocery list.  You can pick up the phone and say what you need.  No need to dial because NSA's monitors will pick up your request anyway, and they can send one of their personnel to the supermarket.  Billing your bank account will be a breeze, since they already know the number and track everything that goes on in it.  Indeed, there's no reason for NSA to stop with groceries.  It could keep you well-stocked with beer and wine, pick up and return your dry cleaning, and arrange for pizza to be delivered in time for dinner.  You'd have to pay fees for these services, but think of the convenience.

Concierge Services.  There's more.  NSA could offer the full range of concierge services.  They could get you movie tickets, make dinner reservations, call cabs, send personnel out to be your personal shopper, and so on.  They already monitor your credit card and banking activity, so they know what movies you see, where you have dinner, and what your personal shopping consists of.  Might as well make the situation a win-win by offering citizens some conveniences now available mostly to the 1%.

Rebranding NSA.  NSA has an image problem.  It's portrayed by its detractors as an intrusive ogre that laughs derisively while steam rolling over civil liberties.  A common strategy in the business world for such a problem is to rebrand oneself.  NSA could leverage its massive knowledge of every intimate detail of your life by offering services like those described above, and change its name to, say, NSA Deluxe Lifestyle Services.  After all, nothing pleases citizens more than seeing government work for them.

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