The June 2013 revelations of massive government spying should not really come as a surprise. Since Sept 11 there has been a steady drift to more and more state power, secrecy and totalitarianism all in the name of national security. Snooping, prying, eavesdropping, call it what you want the government is doing it on a scale never before seen. Sophisticated new technologies allow for more intrusions into our private lives. Beyond the ever present cameras, there is deep data-mining, nano-second biometric identification and drone aircraft in the skies above. The invasive monitoring of public space and the simultaneous erosion of our rights has been largely a bi-partisan affair. State surveillance power, undermining basic freedoms in the name of protecting them, is growing relentlessly. The swelling domestic databases of the NSA probably contain your personal information including emails, text messages, and phone calls. And this burgeoning Orwellian apparatus has become a cash cow for corporations such as Booz Allen Hamilton. Comedian Stephen Colbert sarcastically observes, There are bound to be casualties in the never-ending war on terror and one of them just happens to be the U.S. Constitution.
Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for The Guardian, broke the story of Washington’s widespread electronic dragnet. His exclusive interview with NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden was an international media sensation. He is a lawyer and the author of How Would a Patriot Act? and With Liberty and Justice for Some. He is the recipient of the Izzy Award from the Park Center for Independent Media for his “pathbreaking journalistic courage and persistence in confronting conventional wisdom, official deception, and controversial issues.” He also received an Online Journalism Award for Best Commentary for his coverage of Bradley Manning.
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