Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

US Privacy Was among Casualties of 9/11 Attack

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

US Privacy Was among Casualties of 9/11 Attack

Article excerpt

THIS week - in fact ever since I arrived in America - I have been violated. Every phone call I've made, email I've sent and internet search I've carried out has been monitored unlawfully by Uncle Sam.

And if it wasn't for Edward Snowden - the whistleblower turned fugitive - I, like millions of Americans, would never have known.

No matter which side of the fence you sit on, the 29-year-old is either a traitor or a hero but, much to the annoyance of the government, there is no taking away his courage in telling the US public exactly as it was.

He put into layman's terms what the Senate had not wanted their voters to hear - that their National Security Agency is recording everything everyone does. Nothing is off limits to the NSA. Chat sessions, financial transactions, web searches, phone calls and emails are all on its radar.

The agency can then use the information to target any individual requesting a warrant to dig further in to their business.

It's a little like playing Cluedo but unbeknown to everyone else someone has had a good look at the solution cards and still plays on.

It was the point Snowden was quick to highlight.

From his Hong Kong bolthole he said: "Even if you're not doing anything wrong you're being watched and recorded.

"And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it's getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call.

"And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinise every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with.

"And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer."

Taken at his word Snowden spoke passionately about what he sees as a massively invasive data-collection by the government.

Though he fled to the Far East, he could have defected to any hostile government with a list of every NSA officer in the world if he meant to harm America. …

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