Why what American spies are doing matter to the whole world
Jan 10, 2014
Everyone, including who “does not have anything to hide” should be concerned about NSA exploits.
From a distance, every politician is a democrat. They all came to power through the arms of the people, they are all transparent and all are in favor of the law. However, the rise to power transforms the few well-intentioned politicians into 'classic' politicians. This is the first reason why you should, yes, worry about the mass surveillance that the American government is doing with the NSA. In times of peace, no one worries about what will happen to that form with your address on it. In times of war, it can lead to unspeakable tragedies.
Exaggeration? Well, a bit. Unspeakable tragedies do not occur overnight. But there are prerogatives that are not relaxing. For example: virtually all processes of ethnic cleansing in the past century were only possible thanks to databases. In Nazi Germany, large archives with the activities - and origins - of the Germans were very useful in finding out where the "enemies" were. In Rwanda, the government kept detailed control of the population, including who was Tutsi (the minority ethnicity that ruled the country after independence) or not and when the killing started, the archive was almost a slaughter list. East Germany, Romania, and the Soviet Union also knew every step of their citizens. In the case of East Germany, it is estimated that one-fifth of the population worked as a state informant.
In itself, the overt surveillance of people who have not been accused of anything creates another prerogative: everyone can be suspected. Once a certain individual is elected by security services as a "target", in an infinite amount of data, there will always be items by which suspicions can be raised about him. To bring the subject to our reality: the former National Secretary of Justice Romeu Tuma Jr. accuses the government of politicizing the Federal Police and starting to use wiretaps before there is an investigation, indicting "suspects" with illegal recordings and not always firmly supported. As Getúlio Vargas used to say, "for friends, everything; for enemies, the law".
In addition, the NSA goes much further. The American government basically has ears on the conversations of half the planet. More than that: this apparatus started many years ago, shortly after the rise of George W. Bush to power. There are plenty of reports on how telecommunications companies helped to "surveil", even creating secret offices in their headquarters so that the NSA could indiscriminately access data from all its customers. The apparatus of the institution is the realization of the Orwellian prophecy of Big Brother. Adding up all the espionage files in history - legal or not - together, we get a fraction of the amount of information that the NSA already has about citizens inside and outside the US.
For schizophrenics who point out the dangers of the "right" and the "left" to justify the NSA, it is also worth remembering the following. Just as Edgar Hoover's CIA survived several presidents, acting without even obeying the president of the republic, organizations of this type come to life and become shadows in the darkness. From the computers of such institutions, dossiers are made overnight and it is selected what should or should not enter the "investigations". It creates a leviathan that escapes the control of democracy, society, and politicians.
The NSA managed to corrode the neutrality of the web to such an extent that it is not impossible to imagine that soon we may have more than one Internet - because the current one, managed by the USA, is no longer trustworthy - and this in a supposedly liberal administration. Imagine when extremists like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld return to power.
Are there solutions? Of course. The most obvious is to deauthorize the State from conducting operations prohibited by the constitution and Congress. Unfortunately (proving that we are not living in a calm period), this is not the easiest option. In addition to the German proposal to create "another" Internet, there is also the possibility of starting to use self-destructing data. Or even, hand over the management of the web to a group of non-governmental entities that monitor each other and keep the network neutral. Either way, the problem is there. The solution, unfortunately, is becoming increasingly distant.