The recent revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden about the US’s PRISM program, have, in the US, mainly centered on how the NSA could be spying on American citizens which may or may not be against the constitution. The details seem to suggest that so long as the data collected is 51% or more, between non-Americans, then it’s all good. The EFF/ACLU are upset that American’s are being spied on.. and simultaneously missing the much larger point:
Since when did it become “OK” for the US to conduct surveillance on every foreign internet user?
The big thing the American constitutionalists are up in arms about is these discoveries in relation to their constitution’s 4th amendment – their protection again unreasonable searches and seizures – the oversight role of their judiciary and the requirement of ‘probable cause’.
It seems that whilst American foreign policy frequently talks up the virtues of their country’s bill of rights, they don’t feel this applies to “the rest of the world”.
Unfortunately, this means that for non-Americans, most of the world, we know that any traffic to/from the US is being spied on as a matter of course, and I think that is significant cause for concern.
The NSA director says:
“The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”
The concept that one can lose one’s privacy, without oversight, in the name of “American Security” is something I find upsetting? Does unauthorised copyright usage also threaten US security?
Use Gmail? NSA seen it.
Use Facebook? NSA knows you.
William Hague, our esteemed foreign secretory” says: “law-biding members of the public had ‘nothing to fear’”.
Personally, I think he’s a bit of a bellend, and, more crucially, wrong.