Edward Snowden came forward about the indiscriminate ability of the NSA to wiretap, eavesdrop, record and store email and phone conversations of every citizen in the US. His job gave him access to an enormous amount of privileged information, as he explains in an interview with the Guardian, so much information that it really makes one wonder if there was no intent to leak or provoke some kind of treason. It seems almost rediculous to prosecute Snowden for his crime, after all he exposed things that are indeed illegal infringements, open doors for corruption, nepotism and other exploitation. You don’t want to be the guy that shoots Jesse James, Robert Ford, even though Jesse may have been an outlaw, he was understood and loved for his strength.
You can’t respectably eliminate a man that shows moral strength.
The existence of a large network that gives access to any and all communications between US citizens however inspires a number of different questions, depending on your outlook.
For instance, if the US was eavesdropping then who else was doing it? Lets not have the illusion that China did not tap in to this PRISM system. In fact the system puts the US on a par with China and perhaps any other state these days. Digital signals, mobile communications are just to easy to intercept. One has to wonder how it can be that the NSA expected only the patriotism and salary would keep the secrets secret. Bradly Manning, Julian Assange and others already clearly showed that’s not how people work. It’s almost as if they where waiting for it to happen, as if this revelation is timed.Timed with the new dawm of relationships between the US and China, timed with the relaxation of North Korean tensions. It is entirely possible that the US opened it’s databases to China to show it has no plans to conquer or destroy it, that there is no reason to prepare for a war as China has been doing for decades now. The tool used was hypertransparency. Of course there is no need for it when it concerns the public, it should only be applied to the private sector and government, to back up trust. Now that it allowed a view into the psyche of the US citizen, and showed no big plans, the service needed to be demolished. This would be part of the global standdown, the abolishment of war before we move into the renewable powered roboeconomy. Of course this may be way to optimistic for most.
The mad world of war gone commercial
There’s a funny link from Edward Snowden to the movie Catch-22. He’s the person dying in Yossarian eyes, who goes crazy because commercial interests are infiltrating the ideologically motivated war machine. Slowly all sense leaves the base and everything that goes one becomes an M&M enterprises operation. Catch-22 is about the birth of the Military Industrial Complex, which took place in WO I, a war prolonged because industry made a killing and oil didn’t run out. It is the same wild expansion of the MIC that bread the NSA to it’s super power, and that drive the Cold War, the same desire to be usefull and earn money that made the Shin Bet manouvre Israel into it’s dead end struggle with the Palestinians. You can’t object to a man acting out his morality, you can’t object to palestinians opposing their erdication.
Everything companies do, their accounts, emails and phone conversations, should be public
Of course there’s a dark side to the NSA program, but we need to realize that darkness, evil, is a projection intended to intimidate. If an animal paralyzes you with fear, you become easier bait. So you can fantasize about it in a Ludlum fashion, and revel in your comfortable paralysis, or try to make a judgement on the threat and your response. It’s baslcally a lot of computers storing your emails, phone conversations, analyzing them, building network graphs of behaviour. To that back end you can expect a connection to all you see on the web, even your google results, youtube suggestions, adds on your pages. It is a growing intervention and influencing machine. It makes most sense it will be abused by business interests.
People will want to see these databases destoryed
Another (more real) dark aspect to the existence of these databases with stored personal trivia goes back to WO II, back to the supression of the rebels of Indonesia, back to many cleansing operations we may or may not know about: You first make the list of your enemies, then go in and kill them. Germany first generated an (IBM) database of who was Jew to what degree, and that made it a lot easier to find them and deport them. The Dutch captain Westerling made lists of all the rebels in the unruly part of Indonesia before going from kampong to kampong to shoot them (while his commanders in Holland didn’t really have any grip on him). We know the East German and communist burocracies, Stazi, KGB. The NSA database can be used for such a purpose, the US military certainly would think that way from my own conversations about datamining with DARPA specialists. Many suggest this is a progression towards 1984. To the Casino Gulag state as Max Keiser calls it, where most people toil for a plutocracy (one that is already clearly forming).
But all that stands between us and this dark future is the morality of man. People want to be free and keep other people happy. It’s the most secure world, so we evolutionarily adapted to bring it about, even if it costs our own lives. Events like Snowdens defection are like the spontaneous appearance of matter in a vacuum. It’s not the highly agitated that will act, but those with a proper understanding of reality and care for others. People that are in touch with reality and just don’t like it. Unless you breed a planet of psychopaths (a risky proposition in itself), dreams of global supression and zombie citizens won’t pan out. It seems the only option is world peace with a population that sees the creation of a happy life for each other as it’s purpose. Kumbaya.
If the positive scenario is true, The Syrian conflict should die down the next months
It does help if you take out the main driver for war and conflict, scarcity. You can start with energy scarcity by turing the MIC into a renewable energy source manufacturing conglomerate. Guns to plowshares as it where. Then tackle hunger by teaching sustainable methods and revitalizing the ecosystem using renewable energy as well (so there are no restaints). Wars are fought over resources, over space and wealth. Create wealth for all and you end up with peace, then just watch the population and you will be doing fine. Machines can make what people need, restore the eco system, even maintain the renewable energy sources. Take that route and you’ll end up on a restored planet, that can last until it burps out another Moon, or the Yellowstone Caldera explodes, or it is hit by another meteorite. Which may be longer than a few centuries we get if we keep "fucking that chicken".