- by Lyndon_Henry, Blogger
- 7/16/2013 10:30:09 PM
Broadway writes (re Edward Snowden)
...he must have anticipated a different reaction from the Western European nations -- or perhaps less of a reaction from the Obama admin?
Or perhaps both the whole nature of political asylum has changed, along with the emergence of a ruthless, dangerously more powerful American surveillance state? The confluence of these possibilities, and more, are discussed (with relevance to the Snowden case) in a long but extremely perceptive posting today on Huffington Post by Tom Engelhardt:
The following passage particularly caught my attention:
The Obama administration's efforts to stop whistleblowers are becoming legendary. It has launched an unprecedented program to specially train millions of employees and contractors to profile coworkers for "indicators of insider threat behavior." They are being encouraged to inform on any "high-risk persons" they suspect might be planning to go public. Administration officials have also put much punitive energy into making examples out of whistleblowers who have tried to reveal anything of the inner workings of the national security complex.
In this way, the Obama administration has more than doubled the total whistleblower prosecutions of all previous administrations combined under the draconian World War I-era Espionage Act. It has also gone after Army Private Bradley Manning for releasing secret military and State Department files to WikiLeaks, not only attempting to put him away for life for "aiding the enemy," but subjecting him to particularly vindictive and abusive treatment while in military prison. In addition, it has threatened journalists who have written on or published leaked material and gone on expeditions into the telephone and email records of major media organizations.
All of this adds up to a new version of deterrence thinking in which a potential whistleblower should know that he or she will experience a lifetime of suffering for leaking anything; in which those, even in the highest reaches of government, who consider speaking to journalists on classified subjects should know that their calls could be monitored and their whispers criminalized; and in which the media should know that reporting on such subjects is not a healthy activity.
It seems to me that a crucial ingredient in this "new version of deterrence thinking" by this newly emergent and empowered "surveillance state" is big data (I would argue, an ABUSE of big data). This would seem to corroborate trepidations and warnings I've posted over the past 18 months or so on A2, while also underscoring my assertion of the integral big data implications of this issue.
- by kq4ym, Data Doctor
- 7/16/2013 8:54:26 AM
Snowden's probably going to get a bit crazier as time goes on. It's going to be unbelievably difficult for him to have anywhere near a normal life from now on. With his future fending off arrest, and spending time in hiding, while at the same time trying to defend his actions, he's got to go a bit off the deep end.
- by Broadway0474, Blogger
- by frankcastle74, Prospector
- 7/15/2013 7:14:51 PM
Then why would do it in the first place, he new the consequences and did it anyway. Why didn't he think it through first, that's the thing I didn't understand. He had to have an escape plan, I mean bouncing from one country to another it's hardly a plan. Like I said again, If you want to whistle blow than prepare for what follows.
- by BethSchultz, Blogger
- 7/15/2013 10:46:54 AM
I don't know Lyndon. To me there seems such a disconnect between such naivete and the intelligence required to be hired by NSA. Plus, he makes it sound as if he gave his actions considerable contemplation. Knowing the bureacracy in which he worked and the way of the American press and public, what did he truly think would happen in this situation? Hadn't he already he learned in his years at NSA that idealism doesn't get you anywhere?!
- by Broadway0474, Blogger
- 7/14/2013 9:42:59 PM
@Lyndon, I've always been a big fan of "This Modern World." It's great for skewering the stupidity of mass culture and politics. Supposedly a majority of surveyed Americans believe Snowdon to be a whistle blower, not a traitor. I haven't met any of these majority Americans yet.