Why Snowden (PRISM) is my hero, and why he should be yours too

I have been patient concerning this matter, for several reasons. At first sight, it appears that the so called “PRISM scandal” is an interior American politics and national security thing, at least like mainstream media wish to portray it as such. But then, I watched Eric Snowden’s full interview again and again, and it feels like we’re all in this together.

First of all, let me specify that a government, any government be it, spying on you is NOT a scandal. As my favorite philosophy show host Stephan Molyneux puts it, “…this is not a scandal, this being a scandal is like saying it’s a scandal for Lindsay Lohan to be in trouble with the law again. This is not a scandal, this is the inevitable progress of a catastrophic addiction.”

Assumptions being made here and there, mostly from government officials, denials from service providers, and mostly private businesses justifications, are, at best, light years away from reality.

In his video, Snowden states the following when asked about his real motivations behind his defection and why he chose to take enormous risks standing up to one of America’s most powerful intelligence agencies:

“You have to make a determination of what is important to you, and if living unfreely, but comfortably is something you are willing to accept, and its a thing many of us are(accepting), its human nature., you can get up every day, go to work and collect your large paycheck for relatively little work, against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching your shows. But if you realize that it is the world you helped create, and its going at worse with the next generation and the next generation who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression, you realize that you might accept any risk.”

Now I find this part of his interview breathtaking. Here you find the historical and philosophical dispute on the definition and scope of freedom. So we have a choice. Or we live in a free society but with security backlash, or we chose a society that sacrifices a portion of its freedom for security reasons and safety. Which is the equivalent of pointing a gun to your head, and asking you with a smile “do you prefer me to pull the trigger for you?”…Do I really have a choice? I mean the result of you or me blowing the gun is me dead. This is what I mean about the security argument being nonsense. It might be a philosophical or academic debate thing, are we free, where does my freedom end, where yours starts, etc. but in reality everything must be done to sacralize freedom and elevate it over the debate.

I don’t believe the government in this particular case is trying to target terrorism. It is trying to control the internet, which involves, among other objectives, collecting intelligence and preemptively neutralizing terrorism. I believe that, no matter what the results professed by intelligence agencies are, the government will never control the internet, not anymore, and mainly due to the fact that the internet outsmarts and outperforms the government in any area on any given day.

Flying a plane is complicated, let’s say mission impossible. This is why it is extremely rare, let’s say pretty much impossible to do this kind of terrorist action on a frequent basis. The range of the services rendered by the internet is infinite, from financial services to simple social network communication, which makes it a free, simple to use tool for any mentally disabled terrorist who knows how to type and read basic alphabet. While you might not find 100 terrorists enrolled in aviation schools, you can find a lot of them on “X” countries social networks (just an example), or let’s say on the money transfer lists of money transfer agencies. It’s a question of context, and environment.  Terrorism has changed the range of actions that it can implement with the internet. Governments have to adapt to terrorism, and not simply try to control the internet, and hope that at one moment or another, you’ll just stumble upon a terrorist wanting to go boom. You do not bring democracy to Iraq by bombing it back to the stone age. You do not efficiently use the internet by destroying its main qualities, its infinite degrees of freedom.

Terrorists love the internet mainly due to the intrinsic qualities that lie in that magnificent human piece of art called the Web.What does the government do to react to this new fact? Cut the incentives terrorists have to use the internet? Encourage internet users to be vigilant? Of course NO! Under panic and political short-termism, the Patriot Act was born. And given that America, our model for all of peace, prosperity, and LIBERTY passed such a law made it easier for every other government around the world to justify some kind or another of spying on private citizens.

Linking security to privacy is complete nonsense, and if I weren’t respectful of my American friends elected government, I would call it a Lebanese or North Korean type of propagandist argumentation. Let me explain.

In a republican democracy, there is one text that is sacred and that is the constitution, designed by the country’s historical and socio-cultural past events, and written by its men, that determines what ought to be and what ought not to be done. For a politician to simply make me chose between my constitution and my security means that he is unwilling to do his job of protecting me under the rule of law. So he is simply undue to be representing the law, for he cannot comply to it.  There is only one constraint to public action, and that is the law, what happens to us when this constraint vanishes…

A lot of people will imply that what I am saying is “give an open access to terrorists and let’s wait for the bomb to blow”, but is the human mind so limited, so shortsighted, so financially and security driven, not to innovate an efficient way to fight terrorism?

What happened to the old judge that was in constant contact with investigators in American police series, always next to his phone, discussing arrests and wiretapping warrants, debating with the officers about their investigations, etc.?

Here’s a video of former congressman and American presidential candidate, remarkably arguing against former Booz Allen Hamilton chair for the case of liberty and the constitution.

The scariest thing is the nastiness and the inhumane fashion that Woosley (former Booz Hamilton CEO) used to accuse and preach the severest of treasonous charges against the whistle-blower. This accusatory fashion for someone who just exposed the truth about many things citizens are not aware of, and as Ron Paul makes the point, and as I said earlier, is an argument used in dictatorships. Often Lebanese politicians, from experience, to discredit a political adversary, accuse him of treason. Hence some have been accused of working for the “imperialist westerners”, others for Iranians and Chinese, others for the “enemy” Israel. In France, Hollande accused Sarkozy during the presidential debate of being the candidate of the financial spheres, hence a TRAITOR to the people. Labeling your adversary as a traitor in politics is the peak of the political argumentation. How can anything, including Liberty, advance in such conditions when it comes to manage our collective values?

The guy who should be accused of treason is the guy who promised during a presidential campaign not long ago to stop wiretapping and spying on citizens, and, for the sake of the sub-optimal science of politics, sacrificed his promises and value. Obama rings a bell?

If you, like me, consider the web as your home, then Eric Snowden should be your hero, and you should be lobbying your representatives to speak loud for Snowden’s case, like Marine Le Pen did in France.

Tomorrow it could be you.

N.B: I have nothing to hide on the internet, except some angry comments on football issues that I did not say in a normal state of mind. Pardon me all Paris fans.

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Why Snowden (PRISM) is my hero, and why he should be yours too was last modified: mai 26th, 2014 by Tony

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Host of this website. Your average freedom-oriented digital-age human.
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