Violence is a complicated topic. For most people, it’s spoken about in terms of physical aggression - the use (or threat thereof) of force. However, the philosopher Slavoj Zizek also acknowledges “objective” violence - with no clear perpetrator, which is often widespread. Violence isn’t just force - at its most basic, it’s the removal of agency. In this post, I’d like to explore this broadening of the concept of violence and how it pertains to the United State’s culture of surveillance, as enacted by the NSA. More so, how that surveillance acts to remove the agency of the citizens it claims to protect.