We Are All Under Surveillance
Edward Snowden has slipped out of the Moscow airport to a hide-away somewhere in Russia. I wish him well. I also hope he can remain safe from assassins and would-be persecutors and extraditors.
Edward Snowden is a hero to me. He is a young man who has given up his freedoms and his home, family, and country in order to alert us to the fact that our government has unleashed warrantless electronic surveillance on all of our electronic communications. This is not trivial. We can’t just fix a few lines of code or pass a new law. That’s why Ed Snowden made the sacrifice he did. There are trillions of terabytes of your information and mine that are already captured, analyzed and stored away for future use (or abuse).
Snowden has passed the baton to Glenn Greenwald, a young American columnist at the Guardian, who is carefully disseminating the information that Snowden entrusted to him. Greenwald was scheduled to testify in Washington D.C. yesterday, on July 31st 2013, via Skype. But President Obama was afraid of what would happen, so he called a conflicting meeting for all Democrats. At the same time, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, provided newly declassified documents to selected members of Congress to rebut the Snowden/Greenwald assertions. But, not appeased, Obama called a special meeting in the Oval Office with Democratic and Republican leaders and Intelligence officials. The problem is that the party leaders are beholden to their corporate paymasters—the many corporations who profit from the huge multi-billion dollar surveillance industry.
Here’s my take on what Snowden’s leaks actually mean to us:
Have We Consented to Government Surveillance?
Do Citizens, Residents, and People in Other Countries Have a Right to Privacy in the Digital Age?