The National Security Agency has apparently filed a “crimes report” with the US Justice Department and they are going to prosecute the Washington Post and the Guardian for letting these alleged secrets slip out. Apart from possibly the name Prism this so called spying was all common knowledge and in the public domain beforehand as explained below.
Billions of electronic footprints were left all over the place so how on earth are they going to prosecute anyone successfully? Why not prosecute those who did the spying – they must surely have broken a law or two along the way even if not in the USA so they could be extradited to somewhere nice like Syria or Somalia if the USA has extradition treaties with anyone outside of NATO which allow its citizens to be brought to justice for overseas crimes.
This is typical of an authoritarian state which we never thought the USA as being. Whichever politicians and/or military hacks decided to prolong this debate in the media and expose their supposedly secret activities by taking out pointless criminal prosecutions need their heads examining. Doubtless it would have all just blown away and they and all the other dozens of countries that act similarly could have just “carried on spying”.
Ignoring the intent to prevent terrorism etc the furore about all this is a farce whichever way you look at it but one. Many countries have their equivalent of Prism and no doubt share data one with another as is the case with the UK and the USA and presumably all NATO countries too. But in some countries sending a casual text such as “You forgot your burka” or ending an email with “Love” or “XXXX” could result in someone being stoned to death.
Had Prism and emails etc existed in the seventies, all those demonic dictators in South and Central America that the CIA propped up until the Berlin Wall fell would have loved it.
On 17th February last year we wrote two articles about all this supposedly secret surveillance as having been going on for years but did not name the system, similar systems or who was involved in them.
Prism is not the only system – as was noted in a piece released on this matter yesterday by Faire Sans Dire “there are dozens of prism equivalents all over the world”. If you want to understand a bit about how dozens of countries are involved in this or similar and how it all works read that news article. Alternatively you could wait for the release of The Burlington Files.
We do find it very interesting though – there is one small point that no one in the media has noted – is it purely a coincidence that all this muck raking started at the same time as the China/USA cyber-security talks commenced in Palm Springs, California? Spooks like James Clapper (head of US National Intelligence) are unlikely to believe in coincidences but no accusations have been made.
Why did Edward Snowden who admitted leaking the documents go to Hong Kong in China before all this hit the media? He was formerly with the CIA and as of last week was working as a sub-contractor at the NSA. There are many non-extradition countries closer to hand.
This article was first published on 9th June 2013 and updated on 10th June 2013.