|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
6 June 2013
|Trust Me, I'm A Liar
What did they know and when did they know it? Everything and for years and
years; possibly since 2001.
Cloaked in secrecy and denial we now know from whistleblower, IT
administrator for sinister defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, Edward
Snowden that the storage centre in Utah holds all emails, file transfers, logins,
passwords, photographs, phone calls, web page visits, videos, all social
networks and stored data retrieved from Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple,
AOL, Microsoft, Hotmail, YouTube and Skype.
“I can’t allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic
liberties.” Dead man walking.
Secretive regarding his private life (which we are ironically aware of), foreign
secretary William Hague said us law-binding Britons have “nothing to fear”.
And we would believe him based on such a classically transparent statement. It
goes with the other classic: ‘If you have nothing to hide...’. Ah. ‘Doublespeak’.
Snowden: "I don’t want to live in a society that does these sorts of things...I do
not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.” Way too
late for that.
If you have forgotten the premise of 1984, Richard Jinman writes in The Week:
‘Orwell's 1984 is set in Oceania, a world of "perpetual war, omnipresent
government surveillance and public mind control". The NSA scandal is set in the
United States during the Obama administration's second term. America's
perpetual 'War on Terror' has been used to justify omnipresent government
surveillance of phone and internet usage’.
Adding to the appropriate paranoia is the very fact that US intelligence
agencies rely on contract workers. At least one third who can interfere with our
information were not government employees. Oh dear oh dear. Problems
The Guardian has reported that the UK's electronic surveillance agency,
GCHQ, had been able to see user communications data from the American
internet companies, because it had access to Prism.
The Washington Post quotes a classified NSA report saying that Prism allows
“collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment
installed at company-controlled locations,” not the company servers themselves.
Thus the liars can lie.
Caspar Bowden, former privacy advisor at Microsoft thought Snowden “was a
very brave man.” He has studied the law “very carefully” for 2 years and has
said that there is an enormous loophole in the Data Protection Act that allows
for political spying – and that it has nothing to do with terrorism or with serious
crime, “but this law could be used in America against people campaigning
against US foreign policy...the unfettered power of the Americans to find out
what we are doing in Britain...remember, this is a power which, whatever it is
doing, however broad it is, the Americans have said it is not acceptable to do to
Americans...there is no channel of accountability for the British government...”
And here we are – still the pathetic poodles.
However. Help is to hand. If you are a bit weary of living in our Orwellian world,
you could take a small step to give them short shrift by using sites such as
OneShar and burn.note.com. The former sends your messages as a link which
can be viewed only once, the latter gives the read 116 seconds to read the
message. Redact is an app which sends encrypted messages between phones
without them passing through central servers – and they will be unintelligible to
anyone but the intended recipient.
Time to cancel those ‘loyalty’ cards, pay in cash, wear a disguise when
stepping out in front of the 30 CCTV cameras outside your door, walk instead
of using your Oyster card, delete your apps, de-friend Facebook ‘friends’,
learn sign language with family and loved ones, create aliases, never visit
sunny Florida again, wear a balaclava if you must skype, stash several licence
plates in your garage, don’t check your credit rating, stop voting and
remember; you could find yourself in a 8x8’ cell 23 hours a day freezing and
naked with a single light bulb on permanently without any explanation – for ever.
Sales of 1984 are experiencing a dramatic upsurge in sales. You can ‘read all
about it’, but don’t pay with a traceable debit card.