Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Democracy and Freedom, Secrets and Spin

The news that another whistle blower had released information into the public domain about 'covert spying' on the citizens of the US and the World should not come as a surprise to anyone. The USA, UK, Europe, and Australia have increased electronic snooping since 9/11, the freedoms we take for granted are now easily side stepped at every junction.

My concern mostly is that there is no oversight on Government and its many agencies. History has a habit of explaining our future:-

President Eisenhower in his last speech to the nation ' warned the country about the rise of what he called the "military-industrial complex," a force that would eventually erode liberty and public policy choices. "In the councils of government," Eisenhower said, "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." The wealth that got spent on the defense sector would create enormous influence and power inside and outside of government, which would eventually pervert a free society into perpetual warfare for the sake of maintaining power, unless a free nation exercised exceptional vigilance.
Eisenhower didn't limit this warning to the military-industrial complex, either. He made the same point about the perverting influence of federal money and power on science, warning that scientific discovery could be dominated by Washington, D.C. Conversely, Eisenhower also posited that there existed "the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."
The two NSA issues show the extent to which scientific-technological industries have insinuated themselves into the same position. Nine of the largest providers of internet services in the U.S. have acted against the interests of their clients' privacy to partner with the NSA — a Defense Department agency — in their search for clues on terrorism. This includes some tech-industry leaders, such as the founders and/or CEOs of Google and Facebook, who publicly supported Obama in 2008 while he campaigned against the very surveillance that appears to be taking place now, and then again in 2012.
If you have a situation where Big American companies and Big American Government come together with no control or oversight you erode civil liberties for all, then with possible sharing of this  information with strategic allies and their Agencies, you have a complete bypass of rights on individuals and information being passed continent to continent without any real right.
We all know that we now live in a digital society, interconnected, and perhaps over exposed but there should still be ability to know what Governments are doing under the banner 'Democracy and Freedom', because to me its all just 'Secrets and spin'.