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NZZ am Sontag, Switzerland

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Humanity's Cyber-Hypocrisy Overload (News, Switzerland)

 

"Today's cyber-hypocrisy is almost intolerable, and all of those rightly outraged over mega snooping are advised to be suspicious of the powers, and the powerful, who make a show of being defenders and advocates of Internet freedom. For in this case, we certainly have a case of the pot calling the kettle black, the 'kettles' being the Western democracies."

 

By Patrik Etschmayer

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Translated By Stephanie Martin

 

July 1, 2013

 

News Switzerland Original Article (German)

An former NSA listening station at the Teufelsberg hill in Berlin: According to secret U.S. documents quoted by Der Spiegel, the United States, in a typical month, taps half a billion phone calls, e-mails and text messages in Germany, and has categorized its biggest European ally as a 'target similar to China.'

BBC NEWS VIDEO: The European Union confronts Washington over e-mail spying claims, June 1, 00:02:29RealVideo

PRISM and Tempora, two programs that bring a flush of anger to many people's faces, are now on everyone's lips. The extent of espionage against innocent citizens appears to be gigantic - just as gigantic as is the hypocrisy practiced by a number of countries in this context.

 

Let's not kid ourselves: Spies will spy, and seek to maintain, by all means available, the status quo set by their governments, thus trying to gain the advantage for their nation - or what they consider to be their nation - over others. Data snooping by the U.S., and to an even greater extent by Great Britain, is nothing if not the logical consequence of this.

 

When German chancellor expresses tentative outrage about snooping done by her "friends," a person of sound mind can only be explain it by supposing that she thinks her former East Germany never spied on the USSR, and that the world is the same as it was then - both of which are nonsense, of course. Even the Stasi tried to obtain information from Moscow - in particular, just before the fall of the eastern bloc.

 

In the West, there is a tradition of spying on friends: the CIA, the BND, the MI5 - whatever the clubs are called - have long stretched their tentacles as far as possible into the uppermost echelons of power in their partner countries, while ordinary citizens have only been spied upon when they had special abilities or held special posts.

 

Today, by contrast, hundreds of officers at Anglo-Saxon intelligence services are dedicated to the task of sifting through the unbelievable blob of data sucked up on a daily basis by Tempora. Sound scary? A nation that distinguishes itself as a defender of freedom of information by allowing Edward Snowden to enter the country, is itself the employer of a cyber army of 100,000 that it uses to spy on its own citizens and their contacts abroad, shutting down communication channels randomly, and for the occasional pleasure it takes locking up people for posting rebellious comments on Twitter (does anyone remember the Jasmine Revolution?). Yes, it's clear now: We're referring to China.

 

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After China reviled the United States as the greatest present-day villain (a noisy and welcomed distraction from their own misbehavior), Snowden, rightly admired for his courage, fled to the arms of the next most oppressive regime, Russia. The state in which Vladimir Putin just installed himself as a present-day czar; the country that just put in place a prohibition on speaking realistically or positively about homosexuality, and where a Russian-dominated fascist pan-Slavism cheerfully celebrates its vengeance, allows the American refugee to take a break from his escape in the extraterritorial transit area of its capital's airport before he continues on to what will probably be Ecuador.

Posted By Worldmeets.US

 

Ah, yes, Ecuador. The Andean nation has stowed WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange in its London embassy, and now apparently intends to take Snowden in as well. It would be nice if inconvenient characters in their own country were treated so tolerantly. Despite alleged progress, members of the indigenous population in particular are subject to brutal treatment by security forces, and neither is freedom of the press in the best shape. Even if, for example, four reporters sentenced to prison time were pardoned by the president. The fact that journalists even have to be pardoned is alarming enough.

 

And on the way to Ecuador, Snowden is to supposedly make a stop in Cuba. Yet another bastion of freedom and human rights.

 

 

This entire farce glaringly highlights the disconnect between government and citizens - not just in one country, but around the world, including in the West, which is particularly worrisome. When a scandal of this magnitude breaks, no salutary shock is to be expected: those, who were betrayed (not the citizens, but the intelligence agencies!) are hopping mad. Meanwhile, those who benefit politically would like to, and will, milk the situation for its propaganda value to the utmost.

 

This includes totalitarian regimes and even a Sarah Palin, who presents herself as a defender of citizens' privacy when she criticizes the Obama Administration. If she were vice president now, she would no doubt demand Edward Snowden's head and happily hang in her living room next to her other hunting trophies, because PRISM was approved by both parties, both houses of the U.S. legislature, and by the U.S. courts.

 

Today's cyber-hypocrisy is almost intolerable, and all of those rightly outraged over mega snooping are advised to be suspicious of powers, and the powerful, who make a show of being defenders and advocates of Internet freedom. For in this case, we certainly have a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and with the "kettles" - namely the Western democracies - having at hand clear standards, laws, and credible oversight of the snoopers. With these they could once again become what they increasingly only wish they could be: bastions of freedom deserving of the name.

 

SEE ALSO ON THIS:
El Comercio, Ecuador: Wanting to Keep U.S. Trade Privileges is Not Treason!
Der Spiegel, Germany: Spying 'Out of Control': EU Official Questions Trade Negotiations
Der Spiegel, Germany: Growing Alarm: German Prosecutors To Review Allegations of U.S. Spying
Guardian, U.K.: New NSA Leaks Show how U.S. is Bugging its European Allies
Der Spiegel, Germany: Partner and Target: NSA Snoops on 500 Million German Data Connections
Hoy, Ecuador: Snowden Highlights Ecuador's Decision-Making Paradox
Diario de Noticias, Portugal: America 'Summons World' to Renewed Cold War
Guardian, U.K.: Ecuador Rejects U.S. Trade Pact to Thwart Snowden 'Blackmail'
Guardian, U.K: Glenn Greenwald on Personal Side of Taking on NSA - Personal Smears
Guardian, U.K: How NSA Continues to Harvest Your Online Data
Guardian, U.K: Edward Snowden's Next Step: Live Q&A
Gazeta, Russia: Why Russia, China, and Others, Love 'Poking America in the Eye'
Guardian, U.K.: Snowden Affair Revives Politics of the Cold War
Guardian, U.K.: 'History will be Kind' to Edward Snowden
Guardian, U.K.: Latin America is ready to defy the US over Snowden and other issues
Guardian, U.K.: Putin Confirms Snowden in Moscow Airport; No Extradition
The New York Times, U.S.: China Said to Have Made Call to Let Leaker Depart
People's Daily, China: U.S. Internet Hypocrisy Creates Global Suspicion
Global Times, China: Internet 'Muckraking Frenzy' Damaging China's Global Interests
Huanqiu, China: 'Demented' Hacking Charges Betray U.S. Scheme for Cyber Domination
Guardian, U.K.: Snowden Leaves Hong Kong for Moscow: Seeks Asylum in Ecuador
Financial Times, U.K.: Snowden Fallout Impacts China and Russia
Russia Today, Russia: VIDEO: Former MI5 Agent Judges Snowden 'Canny'
Folha, Brazil: Trust in the State Inadequate as a Pretext for NSA's Spying
Les Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace, France: Edward Snowden is Not the Issue
El Pais, Spain: Powerless, Europe Must Nevertheless Stand Up to NSA Spying Program
Global Times, China: Demonizing China Will Backfire on Americans
Global Times, China: Extraditing Snowden Would Be a Mistake
Xinhua, China: 'Idealistic' Edward Snowden Should be Welcomed by China
Mediapart, France: 'Autonomous Machines': World Reawakens to U.S. Web Dominance
Guardian, U.K.: Britain's GCHQ Intercepted Data from Foreign Politicians at G20 Summits
Le Monde, France: French Lawmakers Scramble Over News of NSA Surveillance
Le Temps, Switzerland: Last Resort for Confronting 'Electronic Big Brother'
The Frontier Post, Pakistan: On Global Spying for Selfish National Interest
Mediapart, France: The NSA is Spying on Us! What a Surprise!
El Espectador, Colombia: Please Consider Yourself Watched!
Le Monde, France: NSA Surveillance Storm Gathers Over Cloud Market
Folha, Brazil: Being 'Carioca' Helped Glenn Greenwald Break NSA Surveillance Story
Sol, Portugal: WikiLeaks and Facebook: What Came Before Will Soon Be Rubble
Guardian, U.K.: World Leaders Seek Answers on NSA Data Collection Programs
Guardian, U.K.: Artist Ai Weiwei: The U.S. is 'Behaving Like China'
Russia Today, Russia: Putin: Government Surveillance 'Should Not Break the Law'
Guardian, U.K.: Russia Offers to Consider Edward Snowden Asylum Request
Handelsblatt, Germany: Obama's Data Nightmare is Europe's
FAZ, Germany: Protect Us from Terrorism ... and Government Snooping
SCMP, Hong Kong: What Will Hong Kong do with Snowden? ... The World is Watching
SCMP, Hong Kong: Why Hong Kong? Chinese Wonder if Edward Snowden is in Wrong Place
Suedostschweiz, Switzerland: Exposed: Spy Powers that Obama Shouldn't Use
Le Temps, Switzerland: Exploring the Limits of Sino-U.S. Compromise
Business Day, South Africa: Obama Sets 'Dubious Example' on Freedom
Economist, U.K.: The Reason We Fear Broad Surveillance
Guardian, U.K.: The NSA's Secret Tool to Track Global Surveillance Data
Guardian, U.K.: Like Google, Facebook: Obama is 'Once Hip Brand Tainted by PRISM'
Guardian, U.K.: Edward Snowden - Saving Us from the 'United Stasi of America'
Guardian, U.K.: NSA Collecting Phone Records of 'Millions' of Verizon Customers
Guardian, U.K.: Data on Citizens has Been 'Collected for Years'
Guardian, U.K.: NSA Taps into Internet Giants' to Mine User Data
Guardian, U.K.: EDITORIAL: Civil Liberties: American Freedom on the Line
Guardian, U.K.: Obama Orders U.S. to Draw Up Overseas Target List for Cyber-Attacks
Guardian, U.K.: Facebook, Google Insist they Didn't Know of PRISM Surveillance
Guardian, U.K.: U.K. Gathers Secret Intelligence Via Covert NSA Operation 'PRISM'
Guardian, U.K.: Ministers Challenged Over GCHQ's Access to Covert U.S. Operation PRISM
Vremya, Russia: Good Riddance to the 'Zeroes': When the Nineties Turned Ugly
Die Zeit, Germany: If Only WikiLeaks Existed Before the Iraq War Began
Folha, Brazil: Testimony of Sex Charges Against Assange Don't Belong in Public
Guardian, U.K.: Ten Days in Sweden - The Full Allegations Against Assange
Libération, France: WikiLeaks: A War, But What Kind of War?
Le Monde, France: Le Monde Names Julian Assange Man of the Year
El Mundo, Spain: Julian Assange: The 21st Century 'Mick Jagger' of Data
Novaya Gazeta, Russia: An 'Assange' on Both Your Houses!
El País, Spain: Cables: Brazil Warned Chavez 'Not to Play' with U.S. 'Fire'
El Heraldo, Honduras: The Panic of 'America's Buffoon' Hugo Chavez
Jornal de Notícias, Portugal: If West Persecutes Assange, it Will What it Deserves
Correio da Manhã, Portugal: WikiLeaks: A 'Catastrophe' for Cyber-Dependent States
Romania Libera: WikiLeaks Undermines Radical Left; Confirms American Competence
Le Figaro, France: And the Winner of the Bout Over WikiLeaks is America
News, Switzerland: Assange the Latest Fall Guy for Crimes of World's Power Elite
Libération, France: Who Rules? Hackers, the Press and Our Leaders - in that Order
Tal Cual, Venezuela: If Only WikiLeaks Would Expose President Chavez
Berliner Zeitung, Germany: Assault on Assange Betrays U.S. Founding Principles
El Universal, Mexico: WikiLeaks Revelations a Devastating Shock to Mexico
L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon: WikiLeaks Makes 'Mockery' of 'U.S. Colossus'
Jornal de Negócios, Portugal: More than We Wanted to Know. Or Maybe Not!
DNA, France: The WikiLeaks Disclosures: A Journalist's Ambivalence
Global Times, China: WikiLeaks Poses Greater Risk to West's 'Enemies'
FAZ, Germany: Ahmadinejad's Chief-of-Staff Calls WikiLeaks Cables 'Lies'
Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Saudis Ask: Who Benefitted from WikiLeaks Disclosure?
Guardian, U.K.: Cables Portray Saudi Arabia as a Cash Machine for Terrorists
El País, Spain: Cables Expose Nuance of U.S. Displeasure with Spain Government
El País, Spain: Thanks to WikiLeaks' Disclosure, Classical Diplomacy is Dead
Guardian, U.K.: Saudi Arabia Urges U.S. Attack on Iran
Hurriyet, Turkey: Erdogan Needs 'Anger Management' Over U.S. Cables
Saudi Gazette, Saudi Arabia: WikiLeaks Reveals 'Feeling, Flawed' Human Beings
Frontier Post, Pakistan: WikiLeaks Reveals 'America's Dark Face' to the World
The Nation: WikiLeaks' Release: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy
Buenos Aires Herald, Argentina: Without Hypocrisy, Global Ties Would Be Chaos
Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Release a 'U.S. Plot to Sow Discord'
El Universal, Mexico: WikiLeaks and Mexico's Battle Against Drug Trafficking
Toronto Star, Canada: WikiLeaks Dump Reveals Seamy Side of Diplomacy
Guardian, U.K.: WikiLeaks Cables, Day 3: Summary of Today's Key Points
Guardian, U.K.: Leaked Cables Reveal China is 'Ready to Abandon' North Korea
Hurriyet, Turkey: American Cables Prove Turkish Claims on Missile Defense False
The Nation, Pakistan: WikiLeaks: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy
Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Revelations a 'U.S. Intelligence Operation': Ahmadinejad
Novosti, Russia: 'Russia Will be Guided by Actions, Not Leaked Secrets'
Guardian, U.K.: Job of Media Is Not to Protect Powerful from Embarrassment  

 

 

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Posted By Worldmeets.US June 1, 2013, 12:08pm