PRISM

It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. — George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

PRISM is, according to leaked information to the Washington Post and The Guardian and follow up reports elsewhere, a US spy programme administered by NSA, that collects data via backdoor access to servers of facebook, Apple, Google and MicroSoft.

Spooks, ex-spooks, fellow travellers and camp followers, have done their best to spread lies and misinformation.

All those named have strenuously denied they have provided backdoor access to the NSA, but what appears to be the case is a locked back door, to which NSA is granted the key.

A bit rich the fake outrage from the founder of facebook, whose business model is abuse of and violation of personal privacy.

But similarly the others who are expressing moral outrage. One thing these companies do not occupy is the moral high ground. Google dodges tax in the UK, Apple exploits labour in China.

It would appear GCHQ has been delving into this treasure trove of information, courtesy of the NSA.

The response of the US government is to harass those involved, and to hint of witch hunts and criminal investigation.

The government, both US and UK, waves the same discredited card, terrorism. All that lies between us and state repression is the ability of the citizen to monitor and challenge the state, and for the citizen to freely go about his business without interference from the state.

We have seen state repression in Turkey over the last week, where the state thinks it ok to pepper spray innocent protesters, where the Prime Minister calls peaceful protesters terrorists.

Bradley Manning released secret documents into the public domain. He is charged with releasing to the enemy. That says it all, we the people, are seen as the enemy.

He did not release to an enemy agent, he did not sell to a foreign power, he released into the public domain for all to see what the US government was doing behind closed doors. And what people saw, the extent to which they had been lied to, they did not like.

The reaction of the US government to whistleblowers is to harass, victimise, demonise and criminalise as a way of drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.

Daniel Ellsberg exposed the atrocities of the Vietnam War, the lies of the Nixon Administration. The reaction of Richard Nixon was to order a break in, in a crude attempt to discredit Daniel Ellsberg.

Can anyone see the difference between Vladimir Putin pursuing Pussy Riot, the violent crackdown of peaceful protest in Turkey, to Barack Obama pursuing a personal vendetta against Bradley Manning?

One of the least threats facing us is terrorism, but it is used a a bogey man to clamp down on civil liberties, to infiltrate and disrupt democratic challenges to the status quo. We deal with terrorism, by addressing the causes. We track down terrorists, use good old fashioned police work. Maybe US should look to its drone attacks.

Barack Obama has pursued more whistleblowers than all previous US presidents combined. He even bragged about it during the presidential campaign. Had the Republicans put forward a half-decent candidate, Obama would not have been re-elected.

We should all support whistleblowers. They deserve our support, they get attacked and villified, but it is us who benefit.

The US is looking increasingly like a totalitarian police state.

We have seen no apologies for PRISM, but what we have seen is the ire of Obama, having been found out.

What we see is the abuse of power, the contempt for ordinary people. We see that with Putin, with Obama, and with the Turkish Prime Minister.

They seem to forget, it is us who should know everything about them. That is why they are called public servants. What we do, is none of their business.

The US Constitution guarantees a free press, though we are right to question how free when it is owned by Big Business and vested interests. The Human Rights Act guarantees those in the UK the right to a quiet family life.

What can we do?

We must be careful what we do on sites like facebook. Any personal or sensitive information, overwrite with garbage, then delete.

Foreign Secretary William Hague, has said GCHQ would not use NSA to collect data, and to suggests otherwise is nonsense. One assumes the same nonsense as terrorist suspects being interrogated outside UK, with British Intelligence in attendance.

William Hague is either a fool or a liar. For many years a programme called Echelon. The NSA is the lead agency in an Anglo-alliance that consists of US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Each country monitors their part of the world, passes to the other countries on request.

Each country searches for key words. Made a lot easier by e-mail. Made a whole lot easier when companies like facebook and Apple are hoovering up data on us.

Backdoor access to servers of internet companies is not all that NSA has been doing. The day before the story broke, it was learnt NSA had accessed to phone records of customers with Verizon. Wall Street Journal has reported other phone companies are providing NSA access.

They are monitoring the post too. US Postal service admits that they photograph all mail they process.

Hint: If you are a terrorist, do not plan what you are doing using postcards.

This is Big Brother writ large. Everything we do, the thoughts we share with our friends, is being monitored and collated.

Please sign the petition to the House Oversight Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee to demand an immediate investigation of this spying.

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One Response to “PRISM”

  1. keithpp Says:

    Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations
    https://keithpp.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/edward-snowden-the-whistleblower-behind-the-nsa-surveillance-revelations/

    Edward Snowden: Saving us from the United Stasi of America
    https://keithpp.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/edward-snowden-saving-us-from-the-united-stasi-of-america/

    Meet the contractors analyzing your private data http://www.salon.com/2013/06/10/digital_blackwater_meet_the_contractors_who_analyze_your_personal_data/

    Tim Shorrock Asks Why It Took the Washington Post So Long to Investigate the US Intelligence System
    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/19/tim_shorrock_asks_why_it_took

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