Close to a couple of weeks ago, the National Reconnaissance Office – that’s NRO to the cognoscenti – launched a new spy satellite. The NRO was founded in 1961 – but the government didn’t get around to telling anybody until 1992 – and, according to its website, is in charge of designing, building, launching, and maintaining… America’s spy satellites. The logo for the latest spy satellite is a malevolent octopus humping the earth. For the dense among us, they provided the tag line Nothing is beyond our reach.
At first look, it seemed sort of off-putting – Christopher Soghoian, a senior policy analyst for the ACLU, tweeted, You may want to downplay the massive dragnet spying thing right now. This logo isn’t helping. and that is a mean looking octopus – but I think he is wrong and the logo is brilliant. In its own way, the Defense department – I think the NRO must work for Defense, they wouldn’t be under State would they? – is doing the same thing as Edward Snowden. The logo is designed to stop terrorists more than to catch them.
The thing that stops me from driving faster than traffic on The 280 coming back from San Francisco at 11:30 Saturday night is that I don’t want to get a ticket and, going into San Francisco at 5:30, I saw several black and white Highway Patrol cars that, I am worried, are still around. Edward Snowden is like the guy flashing his lights at me, saying Slow down, there is a cop ahead. The logo is like painting the Highway Patrol cars black and white so I will know they are at work. The presence of the Highway Patrol stops me from speeding and the presence of NRO satellites keeps terrorists from using emails. Sure, not all the terrorist, but most.