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Government shutdown won’t shut down NSA spying

By   /   September 30, 2013  /   News  /   6 Comments

Part 4 of 51 in the series Shutdown 2013
STILL GOING TO WORK: Even if the federal government shuts down, the NSA will keep right on spying.

STILL GOING TO WORK: Even if the federal government shuts down, the NSA will keep right on spying.


By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

Unless Congress can agree on a new budget, the federal government will shut down midnight Monday.

But that’s unlikely to stop the massive spy machine at the National Security Agency.

The possible government shutdown would affect bureaucrats, park rangers and countless other government employees and contractors across the country. Even three-quarters of the White House staff would be sent home.

But “essential personnel” and services would stay online – including the NSA’s surveillance operations.

A shutdown would be unlikely to affect core NSA operations,” a government official familiar with the plans told The Hill on Thursday.

On Friday, the Defense Department released its plans for dealing with a potential shutdown. In a memo, intelligence and surveillance programs were listed as essential duties of the department not be affected by a shutdown.

The essential duties of the Defense Department – including recruitment, operations of mortuary facilities for fallen service members and medical care for veterans – would carry on. Most directly relate to the military and its role in preserving national security, but the spies seem to get the same exception.

In all, about half of the Defense Department’s 800,000 civilian employees would be furloughed in the event of a shutdown, the New York Times reported. All military personal would remain on duty.

After all, if they’re not tracking your phone calls and reading your emails, who would?

The NSA costs taxpayers about $10 billion annually, according to the so-called “black budget” leaked earlier this year by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Boehm is a reporter for Watchdog.org and can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @EricBoehm87

Part of 51 in the series Shutdown 2013
  1. Shutdown plan: Virginia will carry federally funded state workers until Oct. 4
  2. OKC National Memorial and Museum will stay open regardless of federal shutdown
  3. TN rep equates looming government shutdown with hostage crisis
  4. Government shutdown won’t shut down NSA spying
  5. 7 myths about a federal government shutdown
  6. Obamacare goes full-speed ahead as military pay enters uncharted waters
  7. Shutdown sparks New Jersey confusion about Obamacare
  8. Federal shutdown could furlough 57,000 Virginians
  9. ‘Business as usual’ for PA state government as feds prepare for shutdown
  10. Union plans rally as MN braces for federal shutdown
  11. Only government you don’t know about could go away in Illinois
  12. Shutdown? NM seems OK on the state level, but federal workers will feel the pinch
  13. WI congressional delegation soldiers on in Obamacare-shutdown battle
  14. Shutdown? What shutdown? States will carry on despite impasse in Washington
  15. McAuliffe tries to ride shutdown to victory in November
  16. NM delegation on gov’t shutdown: It’s the other side’s fault
  17. Panda Cam goes dark as government shutdown cripples cute
  18. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin: I’m shutting down, too
  19. Missouri’s Wagner declines congressional pay during shutdown
  20. GIs take first battle of government shutdown
  21. The horror: Shutdown delays pro-Obamacare video contest
  22. Obamacare device tax ‘devastating’ to TN manufacturers
  23. Did The New Republic call for Obama to dissolve Congress?
  24. 4 reasons to cross the Potomac during the shutdown
  25. Are furloughed park employees trying to pick a fight on Facebook?
  26. Shutdown is ‘boom time’ for political fundraising
  27. Sorry Yogi: Reid calls move to open parks a ‘wacky idea’
  28. World War II vets 90, government shutdown 0
  29. Shutdown shouldn’t alter NM oil and gas bottom line
  30. FL tourism industry is magic, shutdown or not
  31. Fed shutdown leaves Americans stranded abroad
  32. Government shutdown brings relief to Main Street
  33. GOP’s Johanns: People mad, feel ‘duped’ into believing government shutdown would stop ObamaCare
  34. Chris Matthews’ weak grasp of government shutdown history
  35. U.S. senator turns total shutdown into partial shutdown
  36. Fed shutdown grounds plan to airdrop possibly harmful substance on TN land
  37. Ohio vets ready to storm World War II Memorial
  38. Some states battling with feds to keep parks, landmarks open during shutdown
  39. Federal tourist blockades called ‘vindictive’ in Virginia
  40. Veterans’ day: Ohio vets conquer World War II Memorial during government shutdown
  41. E-Verify: Is Obama happy to see right-to-work database go?
  42. Two battlefields raise the question: Who maintains Civil War sites?
  43. Contradictions abound in federal shutdown policy
  44. Park Service losing $76 million a day in shutdown
  45. Nebraska federal judge tells Congress to ‘go to hell’
  46. Shutdown renews call to move western forests, parks under state control
  47. How to make NM less vulnerable to federal gov’t shutdowns
  48. Are senators playing selective service in shutdown politics?
  49. Double dipping: Shutdown means double pay for Oregon federal workers
  50. No double dipping for furloughed federal workers in Virginia
  51. Not so fast: Federal workers in Wisconsin must repay unemployment benefits


  • smelltest

    It won’t stop the MSM and democrats from blaming everyone but themselves.

  • Kelly Simon
  • stopthenoise

    Yeah, got a furlough letter to prove it

  • Doc Holliday

    Obamacare should be closed immediately. It’s a non-essential gov’t function. The democrats will only close things that will be the most interuptive to citizens daily life.

  • Sam Martin

    The poorer working class has continued to vote Democratic for the last fifty years and they are still poor. When will they ever learn?

  • Sam Martin

    Since Snoden’s leaked docs indicate NSA spends TEN BILLION dollars a year to spy on us, how much of that would we save if we only spied on aggressor nations?