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Prism domestic surveillance, yawn!

June 9, 2013
The recently revealed Prism program has civil rights advocates up in arms, and conspiracy wingnuts hunkering in their tinfoil hats. Click image to enlarge.

The recently revealed Prism program has civil rights advocates up in arms, and conspiracy wingnuts hunkering in their tinfoil hats. Click image to enlarge.

The United States’ National Security Agency, tasked with gathering, and assessing signal intelligence from, well, everywhere on Earth, is once again looking all Big brother-y, with revelations about a massive, ongoing domestic surveillance program, targeting cell phone users. by the millions. the unofficial Czar of all US counter-terrorism activities, since 9-11, Nicola Machiavelli, has been unavailable for comment. However, he has previously been quoted thus:

“In actions of all men, especially princes, where there is no recourse to justice, the end is all that counts. A prince should only be concerned with conquering or maintaining a state, for the means will always be judged to be honourable and praiseworthy by each and every person, because the masses always follow appearances and the outcomes of affairs, and the world is nothing other than the masses. The few do not find a place wherever the masses are supported.”

The US, intelligence apparatus doesn’t bother too much with friendlies, and un-friendlies — every other country is a competitor, and economics is war by a different name — Canada too follows this model. Don’t ask how Canada is involved in Prism; history suggests we’ll be both a signal intelligence target, and collection asset. Where Canada is concerned (Woof!), the US doesn’t respect — it expects.

Privacy and civil right groups see Prism as more erosion of the American citizen’s rights; the FBI will see it as more erosion of their rights — they are the agency officially constituted to deal with crimes on US soil, but, the 9-11 terrorists toppled their rep also.

I think people protest too much. The Hoi Polloi, is givin’ away what the NSA is supposedly taking. The Social Media business model is all but built on privacy violation.

And, how many of the cell phone conversations, particularly those containing embarrassingly personal information, will have been yelled out in public places — people don’t mind if everyone in a two-kilometre radius hears their side of a painful argument — but it’s a violation of their privacy if it makes that extra effort, and reaches Langley, Virginia, and the NSA.

I could’ve just used this wallpaper as illustration, but that’s cheating.

From → Worldwide

2 Comments
  1. ~xtian permalink

    I don’t understand all the shock horror over this either. Are consumers only figuring out now that all the data they’re handing over to Google, Yahoo! and Facebook are being used? Good grief – next thing we know Facebook account holders will be telling us *they’re* Facebook’s customers.

    And pardon me but sod Americans’ civil rights. What’s going on directly affects us outside the U.S. too – and we don’t get to do anything but watch the dog and pony show when a new U.S. Government is elected and when barrels of pork and cases of ammunition are rolled out.

    But NZers and Canadians and who knows who else are still falling over each other to hand their personal data over to Uncle Sam. Don’t bitch and howl people – just don’t use Facebook/Google/whatever other service you don’t like if you don’t think cost matches benefit.

    OK – rant over. It’s a pet peeve of mine. I’m glad it’s become more visible but the whining and bitching is really getting boring.

    Nice Macchiavelli quote too.

    • Perhaps wee Luxembourg doesn’t spend a bundle on SigInt, but, I’d wager most large countries do it to the best of their abilities — not just the US. Add the personal info sieve that is social media, and “privacy” survives as a word in dictionaries; it has less-and-less of a real-world existence.

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