Spying, Lying and Whistle-blowing
Posted on June 14th, 2013

Michelle Alexander

The Government of the USA has been rocked by the allegations made by Mr. Edward Snowdon on the practices of the NSA, which exposed and laid bare one of Washington’s darkest secrets.  Many, especially those in mainstream US media have called Edward Snowdon a traitor and law-breaker, much like Private First Class Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange before him. However, secrecy of this magnitude and Democracy are incompatible.  One commentator summed up the situation as follows: –

 “Not only do they ignore or disregard the fact that the government has carved out national security exceptions to protect power from disclosures that Snowden made by ensuring that he can be prosecuted, jailed and effectively silenced no matter how he makes disclosures, but they cheerlead for zealous prosecution of these individuals for periods of time that exceed the length of time they would ever advocate for torturers, war criminals or those who commit felonies in violation of laws intended to protect individual rights and liberty in the United States. Which means that when people like Edward Snowden come forward, not only do they have to fear their own government but they also have to fear their country’s media and the pundits who populate the airwaves because they fully understand they will become victims of news coverage that might as well be paid propaganda produced by senior officials inside the national security state.”

 Kevin Gosztola, FireDogLake : US media’s contempt & inability to comprehend what it means to be a whistleblower

 Mr. Norton gave up a US$ 200,000 career and endangered his life and freedom to expose the secrets of the USA’s PRISM program. This is a program which reads and records our emails, Skype messages, Facebook posts and phone calls, and has been active for years. This exposure has already shed light on surveillance and spy programs in Canada, Australia and the UK.

 The NSA Director stated that their surveillance methods helped prevent dozens of attacks, yet it did not stop the Boston Marathon bombings. They could not even track down Mr. Snowdon before he fled to Hong Kong.

If the NSA can spy on US citizens, there is no stopping them from intercepting private information and correspondence of citizens, corporations/organizations and governments of other nations, particularly nations such as China, India, Russia, Great Britain, France, Germany and the Middle East region. As it has been proven on numerous occasions in the past, the laws and sovereignty of other nations means little to nothing.

The Council of Europe has proposed introducing export controls of surveillance technology to protect citizens from abusive online snooping. It has also encouraged its 47 members “to bear these risks in mind in their bilateral discussions with third countries”. We should do the same, especially when engaged in discussions with the USA.

The UK’s Guardian newspaper claims to have acquired top secret documents about USA’s National Security Agency’s (NSA) data-mining tool, called Boundless Informant. A snapshot shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97 billion pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide. Not surprisingly, Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered, with more than 14 billion reports in that period, followed by 13.5 billion from Pakistan. Jordan, one of America’s closest Arab allies, came third with 12.7 billion, Egypt fourth with 7.6 billion and India fifth with 6.3 billion.

As another contributor suggested on this forum, we may have to revert to writing letters to ensure some protection for our privacy. But how do we know if those letters will not be intercepted as well?

2 Responses to “Spying, Lying and Whistle-blowing”

  1. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    this is nothing new. the anglo saxon ungulate hypocrite does the filthiest things on earth and at the same time claim to uphold values of freedom, human rights and democracy. what the world should be doing is to totally ignore the ungulates at world forums as they have a big say bribing Asian and African countries, be it unhcr or Olympics. and also they should attempt to pit one anglo against the other. the very game they play with others. well people like us do not give a damn about what the anglo Saxons do as we write what needs to be written, hitting the hyenas of the world who ‘cry foul’ and encroach countries to have a hold on oil or natural wealth. the maldivians have fallen to the trap of the wasp. we need now to accommodate Chinese and Russians in margampura and trincomalee. when we have leaders in other countries with subservient mentalities engaging in lip service to especially ungulates in usa and Britain, things will never change. we need leaders like castro, chavez etc. who were defiant and had the smartness to survive too. sri lanka is a long way off as our fools are still under the yoke of Britain – our politicians, academics etc. they never think outside Britain and the ungulate knows this and capitalizes on this weakness. this is why we have a chogm this year in our soil, which in my opinion is the greatest insult to our heros who fought the ungulate or should I call these hyenas of the human world.

  2. Nimal Says:

    Assange and Snow den are no different to guy called Elsberg during the Vietnam war.That time they tolerated Ellsberg’s revelation about the wrongs of Vietnam,where his comments were tolerated,where US was to some extent believed in freedom and democracy.Since 9/11(perhaps planned by US) is been used restrict people’s freedoms so that the Shadowy organizations could live on and ‘supposed to be a threat to them’ to exploit and milk the country.There’s some degree of unaccountability to public that fund them and it had been a gravy train to some people.Exposing their activities is a threat to their livelihoods so anyone exposing them or make them accountable will not be tolerated.People seems to know this but they seems to have little power to do any thing.They do things deliberately to prove people in other countries and live on the threat of an expected backlash.Everyone sadly cashing on this venture,thanks to the Muslim fundamentalist terrorists,who had taken the place of the communists countries.Politicians are in it too,like Blair,Chaney,etc US has 3 trillion US dollars for this illegal war in Iraq and else where were they are short of money to spend in the country.

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