James Bamford, renowned journalist and author of The Puzzle Palace, Body of Secrets, The Shadow Factory and other books, visited the American University of Beirut this week. His talk, “Everyone’s a Target: NSA’s Mass Surveillance and Cyber Warfare in the Middle East,” was part of a series of talks being given during the week long Digital Humanities Institute .

I listened intently as he de-bunked the idea that the Unites States' National Security Agency is not spying on you. And let me just say, Bamford blew my freaking mind when his talk turned towards the subject of super computers that have literally all the knowledge in the world, like Scarlett Johansson in the recent movie, Lucy.

And while the idea of a computer that can tell you everything there is to know about everything is awesome (42 won’t be the only answer to the meaning of life anymore), the reality of it is terrifying. Worse yet, the notion that such a device is being used to gather information on you.

Yes, you. Anywhere you live, everything you do, every conversation and action, no matter how trivial.

On January 2014, everyone’s favorite whistleblower, Edward Snowden, leaked tons of top secret documents belonging to the NSA. In fact, it was Bamford who interviewed Snowden for Wired magazine . Some of these documents  discussed plans for the building of a Quantum Supercomputer that could monitor everything.

A supercomputer is a computer that can process data and information many times faster than a regular computer. It usually requires an entire room and several engineers working to keep it in top shape. A quantum supercomputer is a supercomputer that can process data in qubits instead of bits, with the structure being both exceptionally huge and very sensitive to the surrounding environment. Quantum computers save a lot of processing time by skipping past complex mathematical algorithms in code-encrypted information to solve them with the least amount of effort needed. In other words, these things work extremely fast.

A quantum supercomputer, in theory, will be able to crack any code, any encryption, anywhere in the world. Your private bank transactions, medical records, essentially anything you say and do on the internet will never be safe again. The NSA would have the most advanced and all-encompassing piece of spyware technology in the world, allowing the U.S. government to survey every single person on the planet. While many quantum physicists claim that realizing the dream of building a quantum supercomputer is still far off, the extent of the NSA’s progress with this project is unknown, according to the Washington Post.

The NSA itself replied to these accusations by creating a webpage meant to make the scope of surveillance used by the NSA in their Utah Data Center a little more transparent . If you can call it that. Skimming through the page, you get the sense that they’re trying talk themselves out of getting into trouble with...well…everyone. I’m sorry boys, but your “ignore the huge high security special facility we have, we need it for office space” isn’t really fooling many people. It certainly doesn’t fool Bamford.