New revelations about US intelligence agencies extensively gathering information through the internet is not only a majorly important one for our times but one that will eventually be tied in with 9/11, the resulting Patriot Act that restricted civil liberties and the re-writing of American democracy. As the US has unparalleled unilateral powers internationally this is an event that has worldwide significance.
Snowdan, the man who leaked the information, may be treated like Bradley Manning but in this case the whole world is directly implicated so the US script will be challenged from abroad. What happens next, international reactions, US political actions, the changing attitude of citizens, will have long-term implications to privacy and the state of Western democracies.
An important cluster of events to watch.
This snippet is from the Guardian:
“In a democracy, there should be no room for secret law,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. “The public has a right to know what limits apply to the government’s surveillance authority, and what safeguards are in place to protect individual privacy.”
There was support for Snowden among civil liberty activists. Ellsberg wrote for the Guardian: “In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago”.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an internet rights group, called for a “new Church committee” to investigate potential government infringements on privacy and to write new rules protecting the public.”