Not a whimper

Dare I assume that you know what the initials NSA stand for? The US National Security Agency – ever heard of ’em? You know, the guys who note your every phone call, e-mail, Facebook entry, Internet search… and do so secretly, in the name of freedom. The guys who know more about you than you do yourself. Because you forget stuff. They don’t. And they can put the whole picture together any time they chose to.

I see frequent comparisons with the activity of the much feared East German Stasi. But that’s rubbish – the Stasi were a bunch of pen-pushing amateurs compared to these guys.

This story has been around for the best part of a week now and still, amazingly, I detect no groundswell of citizen anger. That has me shaking my head in despair and disbelief.

You, dear reader, for example, do you know what’s going on? Have you taken the time to read even one serious article about what the NSA is doing? Are you aware of the facts or are you just letting other people’s opinion sound bites go in one ear and out the other? I won’t even ask if you’ve sat down to think about the principles involved.

If you’ve not already watched this 12-minute video of the interview with Edward Snowden, do it now. Click the link and listen carefully to what this clear-minded, articulate and very principled young man has to say about the scale of the NSA operation. Do it now before you read on.

See what I mean?

‘Ah yes, but that’s the US for you. It wouldn’t happen in the UK.’ Is that your reaction? You’ve got to be kidding! Anything the US wants from the UK, the US gets from the UK. And as far as UK ‘intelligence’ is concerned, most of it comes from the US anyway. Read this analysis of Hague’s statement in the Commons – what he actually said and what he carefully did not say.

And even if it were ‘only the US’ – how can you not be sick to your stomach listening to USArseholes preaching about the moral high ground?

‘But if you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear.’ Bullshit! Utter fucking codswallop! Just imagine for a moment what it would be like if all this snooping were not done electronically, remotely, in such a way that you can pretend it’s not happening. Imagine:

I get up in the morning, log on and find a mail from JP. ‘Aha,’ says the man looking over my shoulder, ‘still corresponding with that communist agitator?’ (JP is a trade union activist.) I open the Guardian: ‘Aha, still reading that left wing rag?’ and read an article about the Turkish riot police clearing Taksim Square: ‘Aha…’. I log on to Facebook: ‘Hang on, just let me make a note of all your friends. Hey, what’s all this shit about Muslims not being terrorists?’ The phone rings: ‘That’s Jean-Michel. Are you still working on that climate change crap?’ And so on… All day, every day, every single electronic contact I make is noted and recorded.

Is that what you want? Are you happy with that?

Today is Tuesday. Where are the plans for massive demonstrations at the weekend? Where are the banner headlines in the popular press demanding, ‘In the name of the people, STOP IT!’

For fuck’s sake, where is the anger?

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