Whenever ordinary folks push back against—or even question—the NSA's extralegal surveillance of innocent citizens they are always told that it's to protect them from terrorists. “Don't let there be another 9/11,” they say. “Really,” they assure us, “it's for your own good.”
It's all nonsense, of course, and now the EFF has published an interesting article that puts the lie to those claims. In reality, the EFF says, terrorism is only a narrow aspect of the NSA's broader activities and interests. Their own talking points memo advises spokesmen to continually invoke 9/11.
In truth, the NSA spends most of its efforts spying on foreign heads of state, foreign businesses, the World Bank, the UN, and just about everything else. You may or may not think that such activities are justified but one thing for sure, there's a lot more going on than just protecting the world from terrorists.