Little Difference Between One-Party Systems and 2-Party Democracies | Cartoon BY SCOTT STANTIS on June 25, 2013 in chicagotribune.com
f it has not shocked, the scale of electronic surveillance of India by the US certainly has surprised Indians – except 2ndlook readers.
For the last 4 years, before Bradley Manning, Wikileaks and before Edward Snowden, 2ndlook has been raising the danger-flag of the Big Brother State.
PRISM & The Boundless Informant: Why Was India Such An Important Target For America’s NSA?
To many Indians who have considered US to be a friendly country, it may still not be enough that India has been under greater surveillance by the US than proclaimed US-rivals like China and Russia.
Clues to a changing world
In March 2013 the NSA picked up 9.6 billion pieces of information from India’s computer networks, making it the fifth tracked country in the world after Iran, Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt. The top four are all Muslim countries, with Jordan also a close ally, so it’s a no-brainer why the NSA is targeting them. But has the world shifted so much on its geopolitical axis that India is now a bigger target than Russia and China?
There are two possibilities. One, the Americans are making sure India remains on its side of the fence. Secondly, if the NSA has been able to steal more data from India than from Russia and China, it only shows how powerless developing countries are against well-equipped spy agencies.
via Why there are no friends in the spy game | Russia & India Report.
In Europe, Germany occupies the dubious position of being under greater surveillance than other European countries.
The fact that US is mounting this surveillance operations in partnership with Britain has only added to the disquiet.
An Uncanny Alliance
We have Edward Snowden to thank for this insight into the interaction of an uncanny club, the Alliance of Five Eyes. Since World War II, the five Anglo-Saxon countries of Great Britain, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have maintained close intelligence cooperation, which apparently has gotten completely out of control.
It may be up to the Americans and the British to decide how they handle questions of freedom and the protection of their citizens from government intrusion. But they have no right to subject the citizens of other countries to their control. The shoulder-shrugging explanation by Washington and London that they have operated within the law is absurd. They are not our laws. We didn’t make them. We shouldn’t be subject to them.
The totalitarianism of the security mindset protects itself with a sentence: If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But firstly, that contains a presumption: We have not asked the NSA and GCHQ to “protect” us. And secondly, the sentence is a stupid one: Because we all have something to hide, whether it pertains to our private lives or to our business secrets.
No Agency Should Collect So Much Data
Thus the data scandal doesn’t pertain just to our legal principles, but to our security as well. We were lucky that Edward Snowden, who revealed the spying to the entire world, is not a criminal, but an idealist. He wanted to warn the world, not blackmail it. But he could have used his information for criminal purposes, as well. His case proves that no agency in the world can guarantee the security of the data it collects — which is why no agency should collect data in such abundance in the first place.
That is the well-known paradox of totalitarian security policy. Our security is jeopardized by the very actions that are supposed to protect it.
So what should happen now? European institutions must take control of the data infrastructure and ensure its protection. The freedom of data traffic is just as important as the European freedom of exchange in goods, services and money. But above all, the practices of the Americans and British must come to an end. Immediately.
via Jakob Augstein: Data Spying Programs Threaten German Security – SPIEGEL ONLINE.
Safety First, Privacy Essential
Apart the selection of targets (India, Germany, etc.), the joint activities of the Anglo-Saxon Bloc, the question is that of solutions. How can users be safeguarded?
- Is some kind of browser-based, sender-receiver encryption the answer?
- Do we need a greater variety of desktop-OS that will stop data-snooping?
- Should we have a global protocol where routers and internet switches use open-source chips, where the encryption key is variable and user-based?
- Do we need a combination of all the above ideas, which will secure the system, at multiple levels?
Maybe an alliance of India, Taiwan, Korea, Germany, China and Russia can define this architecture?
Terrorism? What About It!
In any one year, mosquitoes kill more Indians (malaria, dengue, chikungunya, etc.) than terrorists.
Is it time that we stopped Governments from terrorizing us with these false alarms? The answer to terrorism may also lie in checking the Anglo-Saxon Bloc.
Why is it that allies, past and present, of the Anglo-Saxon Bloc, are the source and generators of terror-factories!
Limit the Anglo-Saxon Bloc – and you anyway limit terrorism?
Less outrage and more actions will probably do the trick of making NSA into a toothless ogre.