The Guardian has revealed this week America’s further decline into the Home of Big Brother. Now, the National Security Agency (NSA) has even developed a powerful data mining tool, called Boundless Informant, that details and maps by country the enormous amount of information collected from computer and telephone networks by using a top-secret spying program called PRISM. That the leak (apparently by a “reader” of Glenn Greenwald’s blog on The Guardian and an assumed high ranking intelligence officer at NSA who was deeply concerned about president Obama’s intrusion in U.S. American citizens’ privacy) angered National Intelligence Director James Clapper indicates already its significance. That he even lied at a Senate hearing in March, when Senator Ron Wyden asked him whether “the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans,” when responding “No sir, not wittingly” is certainly very serious. Likewise, President Obama’s lukewarm response playing down the significance of the disclosure will certainly cost him any scraps of previous good reputation as someone defending civil liberties. Obama, the former civil rights attorney in Chicago.
As Greenwald and MacAskill write,
“A snapshot of the Boundless Informant data, contained in a top secret NSA ‘global heat map’ seen by the Guardian, shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97bn pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.
“Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered, with more than 14bn reports in that period, followed by 13.5bn from Pakistan. Jordan, one of America’s closest Arab allies, came third with 12.7bn, Egypt fourth with 7.6bn and India fifth with 6.3bn.” (Emphasis added.)
In Europe, Germany was amazingly targeted as well. Iran, where (heavily censored) internet and telephone call surveillance is widespread, dares to report on its arch enemy’s co-disgrace today.
That the disclosures in The Guardian (and simultaneously in the Washington Post) came when the
show trial court martial for Pfc. Bradley Manning, who had confessed earlier this year having leaked hundreds of thousands of more or less secret U.S. documents to WikiLeaks, had commenced at Ford Meade is supposedly possibly not mere coincidence. Another whistle-blower who, if caught (and he likely will be caught, I am afraid, when contemplating about the now obvious surveillance system), will be threatened by lifetime sentence. And what about Greenwald himself who had helped investigating the Manning case and the 2010 leaks by Wikileaks in such great detail? It is hoped that we may witness a revision of public opinion about whistle-blowing when it comes to how everybody is affected by government malpractice.
That Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein bemoans that Americans face “a culture of leaks” meanwhile is a misconception about what citizens need to know about what their government is doing.
9 June 2013 @ 5:18 pm.
Last modified June 9, 2013.
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