NSA mass surveillance program | Andrew Bustamante and Lex Fridman

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Andrew Bustamante is a former CIA covert intelligence officer. Check out his work and podcast at

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Written by Lex Clips


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  1. "Surveillance is all about the intent". That's right. The intent maybe good now but what is stopping the intent from turning bad.
    A brief look at the history books tells you that you cannot trust power. The whole American experiment of government is based on this fact.
    This guy is super intelligent. Why doesn't he realise this?

  2. Kidnap, torture and illegal assassinations. . . with no accountability. . . I think it’s pretty clear that one can’t just put trust on the intelligence community.

  3. I personally agree with Andrew, but regardless whether you agree with him or not, the alphabet agencies are going to Hoover up all our data whether we want them to or not. Nothing we can do about it. Just accept this as fact and live your life.

  4. So basically, he was under "official cover". It's a far safer job as far as espionage goes. I thought he might've been a NOC (under non-official cover).

  5. Absolute freedom and privacy is impossible in a world that improves its technology faster than its morality. I don't see the human race surviving any other way. We cannot afford one angry person having enough freedom to kill millions.

  6. I distrusted Intelligence agencies before listening to this guy
    Now I'm even more terrified.
    How many times has the US government scapegoated members of its own populous. I dont trust them. Its not a conspiracy

    13:34 I'm confused if he misspoke or what How are they under constant threat of Islam if almost their entire native populous are Muslims? doesn't make much sense he must've misspoke. I've been to the uae many time in my life for work the people don't think they are under threat from Islam when that's the religious ideology they subscribe to anyway.

  7. When you allow people like this to speak with the open freedom that they love to deny others it exposes the level of disgust and sheer jealousy that lies within the government agencies against it's own citizens

  8. Here's the problem. You say that you vote the politicians in and then you trust them. What happens when government actors become powerful enough to steal an election and subvert the democratic process and then turn around and weaponize the intelligence community against former presidents and anyone who supports him? You say the NSA doesn't care about this and that which may be mostly true but the NSA shares intelligence with the other alphabet agencies and they have become politicized to the point that nobody trusts the FBI to be impartial now. So what happens when the FBI or DOJ goes after you using real or fake intelligence scraped using mass surveillance? Yes it is nice to be safe but it is better to be free.

  9. In his fake farry tale, the government is an abstract entity full of good intentions. In reality, It is a bounch of people ho can(and are) be corrupted. Dont Risk giving that kind of power

  10. I’m sorry. But this man is just wrong. Look at what is happening in UK right now. They are aresting people for tweets that are “problematic”. And if you think the USA is not close to doing that you’re wrong. So his OWN example of them using the NSA to find people that are tweeting problematic things is already proven wrong!!! This guy is in too deep to fully comprehend what he is saying. He is wrong and history will prove me right. Soon.

  11. I wonder if Andrew still feels the same way with everything unfolding. The FBI alone is showing that an intelligence agency isn’t concerned with politics or civilians.

  12. This guest is interesting, but I don't believe what he is saying. He's basically telling us that we should allow the NSA to collect and analyze our private data and that they won't use that information against us. But we have all seen abuses of government power in recent years, so it isn't a stretch to assume that these abuses have extended into the NSA.

  13. You made some good points, but selling surveillance is hard. There is also a secret court and police system that coordinates with local police departments, to parallel construct cases. I don't really care if it used for violent crimes, I'm more worried about political harassment.

    Its just a very unnatural state to spy on and be monitored. Its a modern thing. There is some scary technology now too, but you guys are the ones making most of that stuff, not us. Governments are the ones who make weapons of mass destruction and actual bombs and kill tons of people.

    AI surveillance is only ethical if the source, but not databases for learning are made public.

    If you want to do much with that, then perhaps you should show good faith by banning personal data collection by third parties, and make the internet advertising based, even if you have to break up some companies. That way only the state has that information, and it's clear where it leaks from if not from the users own actions. This information can't be traded with other countries and people can't look at it unless there is an actual national security threat. You can't assign people to investigate people off of illegally obtained evidence. There is many problems with trying to do something like that. AI would be better but there has to be real transparency and checks and balances.

    I accept it as a temporary situation because the world is sort of run by a lot of crazy people right now, and the 3 letter agencies have behaved themselves pretty well, but they got caught doing something really sneaky and dirty, and they all knew they weren't suppose to be doing it.

    PR is not a bad role for you, but you need to be a bit more balanced with some of your perspectives. I think although Russia isn't our sworn enemy, I think we should be supportive of Ukraine because Russia isn't going to stop until people call them out. The U.S got called out too it's fair. Russia simply wants to economically dominate Ukraine. They had the choice to fight, people were and still are accepting refugees, but they choose to fight. I think we should keep the sanctions up at least until Russia and Ukraine agree to a ceasefire, or Russia pulls out at least back into crimea. After that, I don't care that much, I don't want people in Russia to starve, but there is the long term aspect of containing this kind of behavior. I think if the Russia government really cared about it's people, it wouldn't be so concerned with geopolitics and military prestige, and making Putin look good, instead they should focus on making friends with everyone. You can't really invade and take over countries anymore. People aren't that brainwashed. They will grind your government into dust under their collective feet, and mock the hell out of you. Everybody knows what a government should be. A liberal, open minded, transparent, limited democracy in some form or another.

    If everyone believes the government is not corrupt, then people won't do bad things, because people will tell on them. When the government is corrupt, people don't say anything because they are scared it will get back to them. People aren't dumb. Life isn't that hard to figure out sometimes. You can't live in a sea of nonsense and misdirection.

  14. It bothers him because he errors with CIA and intelligence agencies having unfettered access to information.

    Definitions change ALL the time. What a woman is? Child abuse? Recession? Terrorist? Domestic terrorist.
    Judges differ politically. Justice differs politically.
    No, the CIA, FBI, NSA or any other entity shouldn't have unfettered access to American information. They're controlled by whoever wields POWER.
    Liberty is not safe.

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