When I discussed the loss of American liberties with people here in Europe few years ago, my position was simple - we get the same draconian regulations without any opposition or fanfare here in Europe. Remember export controls of cryptography? We should have been fighting against this barrier because it was primarily against our interests and privacy. The people in the U.S. got the benefits of cryptography anyway (short of some patent issues). They fought the battle anyway - on principle.
Do you remember Communication Decency Act of 1996? The Americans fought against it. There were blogs and strong opposition.
Do you remember data retention? Massive campaign against it in the U.S., a press release that said that a new law passed here in Slovakia. A press release, no discussion, no opposition. “We are just implementing European regulation”.
I always regarded Americans as liberty-minded and people who speak up when their liberties are about to be taken away from them.
That is until recently. While information about massive surveillance programs of NSA are nothing new. I wrote about Echelon (and ways to protect yourselves) in my book in 2002. Thomas Drake and William Binney are both ex-NSA employees and they both mentioned these programs before. There are several videos of them talking about the program on YouTube. It was easy to mistake all these report for conspiracy theories and not act upon this information.
With the information release by Edward Snowden, we now positively know that communication on the Internet is surveilled in real-time and recorded for unknown time by the NSA. We know that e-mail, telephone conversations, Facebook chat, Google communication tools, HTTP requests, SWIFT and credit card payments are all included. This huge world-wide privacy breach was revealed. And what happened? Nothing.
I mean it’s great that Mr. Snowden could at least walk out of the Moscow airport and have a life. What should have happened? People out in the streets demanding their privacy back. The state should have apologized to Snowden and to the public for their crimes. Something should have changed.
It seems that the American public does not care anymore. It’s exhausted from the financial crisis, sceptical about the issues around us. The failure of Occupy movement to bring any real change to the world, the gloom caused by the financial crisis, the reality of doing more of what caused the crash. The wars, the drones, the kill list.
Americans are tired; they no longer care about their freedoms. And that’s too sad. It means the the Illuminati can do whatever they want now. And they will use this opportunity.