Sunday 9 June 2013
One can’t help but be amused by the furore spewing in the USA about government monitoring of telecommunications.
The news this past week was that the American National Security Agency, one of the biggest government intelligence gathering agencies in the world, was conducting pretty much unrestricted surveillance of telecommunications inside the USA and beyond. Leading politicians expressed outrage and shock that such a thing might happen.
Give me a break.
Any idiot knows that every keystroke you make on your computer and every time you use certain key words in telephone conversations and other communication, it IS being monitored by some of the most sophisticated snooping technology imaginable.
As an example, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service on Ogilvie Road in Ottawa is in the midst of adding a massive expansion to their already impressive complex with its seven stories of super-secret underground office space. (Thomas Merton’s “Seven Storey Mountain” comes to mind, but in a slightly different context!)
While the CSIS lads and lasses are certainly monitoring foreign governments, you KNOW they’re also monitoring us. As a matter of fact, chances are very good that sometime in the next 12 to 24-hours or less, a computer scanning program will flag the fact that I’ve typed CSIS twice now. (The Americans probably already have read this because of the NSA reference above.)
My point is that, to me at least and a lot of my friends, there is no surprise in the fact that our communication IS being monitored by our governments and we do NOT feel threatened by it – nor should we. I don’t say or do anything online to break any laws, so I’m not worried about who or what sees my text. My rights to freedom of speech and thought remain intact. Should the unlikely need arise at some point in the future, I can be cleared to Top Secret within the federal establishment. Being monitored doesn’t worry me. Neither does it surprise me.
Politicians in the USA need to find a new piñata.
("I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me." Thomas Merton)