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Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler

- Albert Einstein

The Surveillance State

Very alarming events are recently happening on the global scene. The plane of President Morales of Bolivia departed from Moscow on July 2, 2013, and was not allowed to fly over France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal after those Governments were told the plane was carrying the American NSA (National Security Agency) whistleblower, Edward Snowden.

The plane rerouted to Vienna at the request of the US ambassador to Austria, William Eacho (Die Presse, Austria, July 3, 2013). The presidential plane was held up for 12 hours and searched illegally, while the American hero Snowden was not on board.

This act of daylight piracy in the turn of the 21st Century was unprecedented, dangerous and an aggressive behaviour violating international laws.

This is a cowardice and submissive act by the European countries bending to the request of the US government. This behaviour reveals that imperialism is monopolising itself by the spearheading power of the United States, a frightening development compatible to the laws of the jungle.

What Snowden disclosed in June 2013 has a great impact in informing the public about the global surveillance network, originating in the United States of America. It exposed that NSA spying and stealing information not only from millions of Americans, but from other countries; especially from the same European countries submitted to the will of US imperialism.

Under a program named Prism, billions of phones, emails, and text messages were monitored globally, and monetary transactions and private accounts are checked. The pretext is to protect Americans against terrorism. Spying on millions of Americans to safeguard them from terrorism? This would mean that tens of millions of Americans are potentially terrorists unless it is proven otherwise. Not surprisingly the NSA shared these data with foreign governments like Israel, Germany, and the UK. There is nothing patriotic about this behaviour.

The NSA contracted domestic and international hacking companies – for instance a French firm, Vupen, to gather intelligence (RT, September 17, 2013). While jobs are disappearing, education costs are soaring, and social support networks are shrinking due to the public spending cuts, intelligence agencies consume hundreds of billions of dollars of tax-payers money to spy on the same people. To emphasize that, recently a multi-billion dollar “black budget” has been revealed in the files disclosed by leaker Edward Snowden to the Washington Post (30 August, 2013).

Top-secret national security documents leaked to the Guardian newspaper unveil that the United States government compensated the tech companies that signed on to participate in the controversial NSA spy program known as Prism (23 August, 2013).

On the other hand giant tech companies like Microsoft worked hand-in-hand with the US government in order to allow federal investigators bypassing encryption mechanisms meant to protect the privacy of millions of users (Guardian, July 11, 2013, Edward Snowden). This is only an example of give-and-take relationship between governments and big businesses in absence of the public. By evading the public, the last remnants of democracy are sacrificed at the altars of capitalism.

The surveillance state is not to secure the public; it is to control them especially at times of economic crises. But in spite of all conspiracies and tricks, the crises are deepening and the prospects of capitalism are deemed gloomy.

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