Some things are just so upsetting and thoroughly violating you just don’t know what to make of them… except perhaps to withdraw into a cocoon, and realise just how the world you see is in fact far from the real world. Because whatever you do, or do not do, you can’t undo the violation. Not that you didn’t suspect it, no, but when you uncover the scale of the violation, that they are in fact watching your every move (and recording the details), on the streets, in the shops, even in your own living room, listening to your conversations on the phone, browsing through your emails, essentially bugging your home via your computer…apparently all done ‘legally’, under the pretext of counter terrorism….suddenly, you realise that you are not free; that you are in fact a prisoner to the powers that be, and technology just made that imprisoning somewhat easy, and rather convenient for the matter. You are greatly distrusted, you’ve always been a prisoner, you probably even liked it, although you just didn’t know it.
A few weeks ago, when the story of NSA surveillance using the Prism program, into which GCHQ had been tapping broke out, there was global outrage. Among the ruffled individuals were members of the German government:
But guess what the official stance now is: Merkel justifies NSA eavesdropping surveillance…?? Oh, well. well..whatever happened there?
And then there were the usual firefighting voices, whose stance was obvious even before Snowden had uttered a single word:-
You wouldn’t really expect him to say something else, would you. Imagine if people like him occasionally departed from this pro-American line of thought….wouldn’t it be bizarre? I’m convinced it would be so strange the world would probably come to an end. But what’s the justification:-
Which as you can see, isn’t so much as a justification as a hollow excuse, devoid of any guarantees and relying entirely on individual sense of morality and ethics, which everybody knows, vary greatly from one person to the next, whether one works for the Queen, Obama, or God. And we are not short of examples of people supposedly working for one government or another, who have over the years overstepped their official duties, to commit actions that are undoubtedly criminal.
Thinking about all this, surely George Orwell is turning in his grave. But the question remains: How much authority is too much authority?
Sometimes I wonder whether the current leaders of western governments (with all the knowledge that they are said to have, including that of the wars began by their predecessors, and genocides perpetrated by some of their predecessors) have really learned anything from the last 500 years??? I tend to think if someone such as Abraham Lincoln lived in this time, he would probably have been targeted by some of the enemies of freedom, and be silenced. His ideas — which would have been specific and relevant to this time and age – would have been denounced, trashed and he would have been deemed either an extremist or law breaker. The US government has got it wrong regarding persecuting innocent people who pursue the truth and the preservation of civil liberties. Obama has lost his way.
- NSA, European Intelligence Agencies Work Closely Together on Spying Against the Public! (socioecohistory.wordpress.com)
- Surveillance-Industrial Complex Booming: The NSA will Love Self-Driving Cars (forum.prisonplanet.com)
- German interior minister: don’t use Google and Facebook if you fear NSA surveillance (philosophers-stone.co.uk)
- Snowden claims Germany is ‘in bed with’ NSA (irishtimes.com)
- Why “Nothing to Hide” misrepresents online privacy (techrepublic.com)
- Surveillance Cams Get Party Hats for Orwell’s Birthday (livescience.com)
- Richard Stallman, visionary: “Thousands dead, millions deprived of civil liberties?” (2001) (www.reddit.com)
Surveillance and counter-surveillance (www.frontlinedefenders.org)
- Julian Assange: Edward Snowden Is ‘Safe And Healthy’ (huffingtonpost.com)