Americans love a good conspiracy theory, and plenty have been bandied about this election season. But what about conspiracy theories that turned out to be, well, not theoretical at all?
The National Security Agency’s secret surveillance network spied on hundreds of millions of American citizens’ phone calls. Just as bad: the NSA also spied for American corporations, even while it was infringing on the civil liberties of American citizens.
Though the NSA made many public denials of its engagement in cyber espionage, investigations by the press and leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed quite the opposite.
In 2014 alone, the agency was revealed to be spying on EU antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia, who was then investigating huge American corporations Google, Microsoft, and Intel. Later, a leaked report by the agency confirmed its intentions to hack into non-American corporations to gain access to their secrets, so that American companies could benefit from this information.
That’s right – the NSA maintained an unprecedentedly huge conspiracy to spy on Americans, but the agency was perfectly willing to use its services in the benefits of corporations. Talk about priorities.