The NSA could easily be re-tooled as a business platform: here’s how

NSA Operations centre

NSA Operations centre

The US’ National Security Agency could be rejigged as a self-funded entity fulfilling its missions while saving taxpayers billions of dollars and also providing them with a host of useful services.

Its substantial computing platform and its superior security knowledge could jumpstart new jobs and businesses if the agency had a commercial arm.

The NSA is interested in the tiniest fraction of the data it collects, the bits about finding terrorists. The rest of the data is useless to it but it keeps it anyway. It’s a highly valuable resource to others.

Here are some business ideas:

A Web Services Suite for consumers that includes, virus protection, data backup services of all client computers and devices and online data lockers; unlimited dropbox-like data storage in the cloud; free banking software; unlimited email accounts; unlimited VOIP calls; and a personalized VPN protecting users from snoopers, would be a killer package. The NSA Security suite could get away with charging a premium monthly fee for the service because of its stellar pedigree.

There are other services it could offer:

  • Host IT services. It clearly has all the APIs needed to link up with hundreds of thousands of businesses and financial institutions and is able process mountains of Internet data in real-time. There is no business in existence today that can do that.
  • It could sell incredibly detailed analytics reports on the planet’s commerce, what the billions are buying and thinking. And economic data to help governments keep their countries healthy.
  • The NSA archives would offer a tremendous insight into our collective soul, how people behave, and how they change. There’s an incredible trove of data that would allow sociologists and anthropologists to draw a far more accurate picture of humanity than we have today.
  • That data hides a map of our social genome, the long double-twisted chains of memes and stories that shape us as distinctly as our DNA gives us form. It might even reveal a key code that governs our nature. Yet the NSA just sifts for a very narrow range of human behaviors, all negative.

Here are some marketing slogans for the NSA, they could be used to perk up its image or sell services:

“We’ve got your back.”

“You’re welcome.”

“We’re always watching out for you.”

“We know what you did last summer.”

“Speak freely — it’s your right.”

“Free speech is nothing if no one listens.”

“US$19 a year for unlimited data storage, emails, and phone calls.”

This article by Tom Foremski originally appeared on Silicon Valley Watcher, a Burn Media publishing partner.



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