5 Ways the War on Terror Has Changed Your Life
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The program, called XKeyscore, show how individual analysts can easily search through massive databases about Americans’ internet use. No court order is needed for this type of searching.
4. Your Tax Money Pays for the NSA
At the same time that the NSA is collecting data on you, you’re paying for them to do so. The NSA’s budget comes from the American taxpayer, and so taxpayers are giving this powerful agency the money to carry out their surveillance.
As CNN reported in June, when the NSA scandal first broke out, “ it's impossible to say exactly how much money the NSA is given to conduct its surveillance efforts” because the details of its budget are classified. But there’s at least some information that gives a hint as to how much the NSA is costing the American taxpayer.
In total, the intelligence budget was $75 billion last year. And transparency advocate Steven Aftergood estimates that about $10 billion goes to the NSA.
Additionally, the American taxpayer is paying for the rest of the war on terror at home. That includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s budget, which is used for terror investigations and hiring informants to bait young, troubled Muslims into saying they want to commit terrorism--even if there was no real threat.
5. Militarized Police Force
Another way American taxpayers are footing the bill for the war on terror is how they’re paying for the militarization of America’s police force.
Police militarization began before September 11, as author Radley Balko notes. After 9/11, the militarization continued apace. America’s police departments now needed to fight crime and terrorism.
Police departments were given high-grade weapons that were unnecessary to combat local crime. The departments received things like armored personnel carriers, aircraft and boats. They also began getting machine guns from the military in order to fight terrorism.
“The main effect of 9/11 on domestic policing is the DHS grant program, which writes huge checks to local police departments across the country to purchase machine guns, helicopters, tanks, and armored personnel carriers,” Balko told VICE magazine.