Perhaps you have to work for the US federal government or a federal contractor to “internalize” how it works, thinks, and uses words. Perhaps you have have had to hit the depression limit (of its numbing processes) and happen to be one of those who recover (like one of the few who survived the plague). Only then can the human brain to see some light in how American government of the people actually works, by verily numbing its people so one looks the other way – to the slavery of others. Slavery – economic or indentured – that founding institution of America, courtesy centuries of slaving handoff from England, upon which American economics and “exceptionalism” is built.
When NSA professionals – doing their mindless and boundless “reporting” – use the term “collection capabilities” in documents then you cannot thereafter separate the two parts of the compound-noun – that grammatical concept perfected by US federal government (and military) built “of the people”. By the way, I happen to “still believe” in both of those institutions, having seen them from the inside as a foreigner allowed to see the (NSA pseudo-military, pseudo-civilian side of the) American government experiment up close. Its by far the best of a really bad lot…so long as you squint sideways when considering the slavery part.
If France delivers its collection of data to NSA, that is not an act of NSA collection. It is an NSA collection-capability.
Capabilities are part of the US focus on goal-driven management, when putting power to use. Its part of their exceptionalism (that power can translate into work, once and only once “management is effective”). The exceptionalism converts management knowhow into power amplification because not only does the resulting work-now-doable scale up (at levels no one else can even half achieve) it manages to do so without fundamentally changing the nature of american society or its institutions. Of course if you are on the enslaved end, its shitty. But, get over it; you don’t have a vote, or a say, or a life (if so “designated”).
If you are in 1950s and the generals have managed to bring the situation nearly to global thermonuclear war, then perhaps its shitty even for Americans too – living day to day with a threat that comes from a government process whose management process actually is effected through endless wordgames – starting with adoption of the self-belief in ‘exceptionalism”’.
So understand just how important freedom of the press is in America, since its actually built into the very fabric of federal government. They play with words to govern just as journalists play with words to criticize. At the end of the day, government wins over journalists as it has already used essentially-journalistic processes … to perfect its wordgames. It’s quite happy for journalists how to “play its game” and spend all its resources in the word game world, knowing full well it has lots more resources available than any set of journalists: and thus wins by exhaustion. The only think it has to do is get the journalist to play the game it always wins at : which NSA director is doing , exactly as you;d expect a trained general to do, when winning his war.